Messenger’s last hour

There’s really no such thing as wall-to-wall up to the minute coverage of robotic spacecraft. About the closest thing I can get is a look at the DSN Now (NASA’s Deep Space Network) page, showing real time communications between the ground stations of the DSN network and various probes beyond Earth orbit.

Right now (14:00 EDT on 30 April 2015) the Messenger spacecraft in orbit around Mercury since 2011, is in its final hour before making a planned crash onto the planet’s surface at 15:36 EDT today.

Here’s the view of current DSN operations (Messenger’s communications are the focus of the image in the top left corner):


Notice our old friend Voyager 2 is also talking to the network (all the way in the lower right). Curiosity Rover is as well (last icon on the top row). Ceres-orbiting DAWN’s communications activity is shown just to the left of Voyager.


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About phil

My name is Phil Lembo. In my day job I’m an enterprise IT architect for a leading distribution and services company. The rest of my time I try to maintain a semi-normal family life in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. E-mail me at philipATlembobrothersDOTcom. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and not those of my employers, past, present or future (except where I quote others, who will need to accept responsibility for their own rants).