NASA To Release Science Results and New Images from Mercury Flyby


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WASHINGTON - NASA will hold a press conference at 1 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 30, to announce scientific findings and release never-before-seen images of Mercury. The images were taken during a NASA spacecraft's January flyby of the planet. The briefing will take place in the NASA Headquarters' James E. Webb Auditorium, 300 E Street, S.W., Washington, and will be carried live on NASA Television.

NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (Messenger) spacecraft is the first mission sent to orbit the planet closest to our sun. After a journey of more than 2 billion miles, the spacecraft made its first flyby of Mercury on Jan. 14. The spacecraft's cameras and other sophisticated, high-technology instruments collected more than 1,200 images and made other observations. Data included the first up-close measurements of Mercury since the Mariner 10 spacecraft's third and final flyby on March 16, 1975.

Participants in the press conference will be:

- James Green, director, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington

- Sean Solomon, Mesenger principal investigator; director, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington

- Maria Zuber, Messenger science team member; head, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

- Robert Strom, Messenger science team member; professor emeritus, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson

- Louise Prockter, instrument scientist for the Mercury Dual Imaging System, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.

Reporters may ask questions from participating NASA locations. The briefing also will be streamed live on NASA's Web site at: http://www.nasa.gov

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