NASA’s Messenger Probe Runs Out Of Fuel, Crashes Into Mercury

CNN — NASA’s Messenger space probe crashed into Mercury on Thursday after running out of fuel, ending a nearly 11-year journey that provided valuable data and photos. The agency estimates the probe hit the surface at 8,750 miles per hour and created an impact crater 52 feet (16 meters) in diameter.

The crash wasn’t visible from Earth because it occurred on the far side of Mercury. Messenger was the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury, the planet closest to the sun. It traveled about 5 billion miles — a journey that included 15 trips around the sun.

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I always feel sad when these things happen. Every now and then we hear about a probe that’s just been out there probing forever, but its time comes to an end. It runs out of gas or flies too far away to be communicated with or it crashes into the ocean because these things don’t know how to land. It’s weird really, because prior to today I didn’t even know this thing existed. No clue. Yet now that it’s dead, I miss it. I miss it a lot, and I’m sad.

I guess I just don’t like change. I don’t like losing things. I just wish things would go back to the way they were! Miss you Messenger.

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PS – Thing’s name was Messenger so um, it better have sent us some amazing messages, amirite?

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