View of Earth from MESSENGER This image shows how Earth and its orbit (blue line) appear from the perspective of the MESSENGER spacecraft. The positions of the Sun, Mercury and Venus are marked when they appear in the 30-degree field of view. When visible, the apparent size of the Sun is shown. Positions of stars with magnitude 9 or brighter are shown. More information is available at.
The spacecraft is the first mission designed to orbit the planet closest to the sun. The probe flew past Mercury on January 14, 2008, and October 6, 2008, conducting the first up-close measurements of the planet since Mariner 10's final flyby on March 16, 1975.
The briefing participants are:
- Marilyn Lindstrom, program scientist, NASA Headquarters in Washington
- William McClintock, co-investigator, University of Colorado, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, Colorado
- James Slavin, co-investigator and chief, Laboratory for Solar and Space Physics, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
- Thomas Watters, participating scientist, Smithsonian Institution in Washington
- Brett Denevi, imaging team member and postdoctoral researcher, Arizona State University in Phoenix