Why Did NASA Crash A Satellite Into Mercury?


NASA sends spacecrafts to planets all the time. Why do they spend the money to do so if they’re just going to crash them into the planet?

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Spacecraft Set for Death Plunge Into Mercury
“The MESSENGER spacecraft — which stands for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging — will end its run and dive into Mercury at 3:26:02 p.m. ET today, the U.S. space agency said.”

MESSENGER: Spacecraft and Instruments
“MESSENGER’s dual-mode, liquid chemical propulsion system is integrated into the spacecraft’s structure to make economical use of mass. The structure is primarily composed of a graphite epoxy material. This composite structure provides the strength necessary to survive launch while offering lower mass. Two large solar panels, supplemented with a nickel-hydrogen battery, provide MESSENGER’s power.”

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Date: August 18, 2015

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