PSJC #11 March 26 2008

Mercury Exospheric and Surface Spectral Measurements

Todd Bradley

The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft was launched on August 3, 2004, and is scheduled for orbit insertion around Mercury in 2011. En-route MESSENGER has made flybys of the Moon, Venus, and Mercury. One of the instruments on board MESSENGER is the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) and is designed to measure species in Mercury's very tenuous surface-bounded exosphere as well as to make spectral measurements of Mercury's surface. An overview of the MESSENGER mission, MASCS, and Mercury's exosphere will be given followed by results from flyby observations as well as planned observations of Mercury's exosphere after orbit insertion.