Mercury probe is expected to smash into the surface of the Mercury and NASA has been anticipating its impact. On April 30, 2015, at Thursday, at exactly 3:26 p.m., NASA confirmed the demise of one of their oldest and most helpful standing probe.
The spacecraft was estimated to move at a speed of 8,700 miles/hr during its final orbit of the Mercury planet. Scientists on the mission knew what could happen, yet they never expected it would be as devastating as it is now.
The spacecraft was estimated to hit a ridge at the northeastern rim of the “Shakespeare” impact crater, but it was not the right point of impact at that time.
The NASA’s Mercury team tweeted a goodbye message and announced just minutes before ultimately losing contact with the spacecraft, “Well, I guess it is time to say goodbye to all my friends, family, support team. I will be making my final impact very soon.”
As per NASA prediction, the accurate time of lost contact with the NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) and the Messenger is the expected instant of impact, as confirmed in the NASA Eyes DSN Now website. Images of the spacecraft before and after the MESSENGER stopped transmitting signal on the website, were posted on the website. NASA’S DSN is a worldwide network of radio antennas that is in constant contact, receives transmitted signal and confirms the loss of connection with the agency’s space other robots, probes, and far-away spacecrafts.
The Goldstone Observatory in Mojave Desert, California was the last communication spot of The MESSENGER, mere seconds before the signal went zit.
Launched in 2004, The MESSENGER mission successfully orbited the planet nearest the Sun since 2011. After its 4 year orbit, the MESSENGER was able to unveil Mercury’s deepest darkest secrets by continuously transmitting images and data to Earth. Furthermore, by understanding the planet, mission scientists were also able to discover clues on the origin of the solar system. As what John Grunsfeld, the Asso. Adm. of Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, say, “For the first time in history, we now have real knowledge about the planet Mercury that shows it to be a fascinating world as part of our diverse solar system.”
Space and science and enthusiasts worldwide expresses their personal farewell to one of the most iconic spacecrafts NASA has ever created.
Planetary scientist Mary Kerrigan, quoted the famous William Shakespeare in her tweet, “Forever farewell… If we do meet again we’ll smile indeed. If not, ‘tis true this parting was well made. – JC A5s1 #MESSENGER #Shakespeare”.