Thursday, October 2, 2008

Educators to Share MESSENGER's Second Mercury Flyby

On Monday, October 6, 2008, NASA's MESSENGER mission to Mercury will complete an important milestone, as the spacecraft makes its second flyby of its target planet. During the flyby, MESSENGER will swoop just 200 km (125 miles) above the cratered surface of Mercury, snapping hundreds of pictures and collecting a variety of other data from the planet as it gains a critical gravity assist that keeps the probe on track to become the first spacecraft ever to orbit the innermost planet in the Solar System in 2011.

Six MESSENGER Educator Fellows, master science educators talented atspeaking to audiences of all ages and backgrounds, will observe the flyby activities at the Mission Operations Center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and report on their experiences in real time using social networking sites on the Internet. Through the Fellows' eyes, teachers, students, and the general public around the world will be able to share the engineers' excitement as the spacecraft performs a maneuver crucial to the success of the mission, and experience the scientists' exhilaration as new science data never before seen by any human being arrives during the days following the flyby.

Join the MESSENGER Educator Fellows as they report on MESSENGER's second flyby of Mercury by navigating to the Fellows at the Flyby page at:
Follow the links therein to the individual Fellows' Facebook, Twitter, Wiki and blog pages.

The MESSENGER to Mercury mission is supported by the NASA Discovery Program under contract to the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. For more information on the
MESSENGER mission, visit