Mercury orbiter retired after successful mission

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Godspeed little dude. Nice work out there.


But the Hermians were proud of their bizarre planet, with its days longer than its years, its double sunrises and sunsets, its rivers of molten metal…

-Arthus C. Clarke, Rendezvous With Rama

And proud with good reason. The idea of being a “Hermian” appealed to me, even though I’m the exact opposite of the stereotype Clarke described.

I don’t understand the value of having probe collide with the planet.

You’re ashamed of your planet?

It meant they didn’t have to pack enough fuel to send it into an extra-solar orbit for which it wasn’t designed, anyway.


Designing it to leave orbit after that long would be more expensive. I think that is the value.

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It would have been better to pack more fuel an put it in a stable orbit, IMHO.

" I think I’ll call it ‘Ground’! I wonder if it’ll be friends with me?"


There is no such thing as a stable orbit there–it’s so close to the sun that the sun messes with the orbit.

What I don’t understand is the title saying “retired”. They know they are going to lose it, that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to monitor it until the very end.

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The usual reason for the crash impact is so that they can train telescopes on the impact site and hopefully learn a little more about the composition of the ejecta. One of the “recent” Lunar orbiters was crashed into a deep crater with hopes that it would toss up some ice…


You asked what the value was. I guessed. You’re welcome.

But, there’s got to be a place to park the solar powered laser cannons! Aren’t there Lagrange points for the mercury-sol combo?

I call shenanigans. It’s NASA’s version of a demolition derby. Everybody loves to watch car crashes.

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If you have to go out, go out with style.


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