Spacecraft Crashes into Mercury at Insane Speed
MESSENGER ends a four-year study of Mercury that revealed surprises about the hot little planet.
Mercury got a new crater Thursday, carved when NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft lost its battle with gravity and plunged to the planet’s surface at more than 8,750 miles per hour (14,000 kilometers per hour).
The crash happened at 3:26 p.m. EDT, after MESSENGER zoomed behind the solar system’s smallest planet. This time, it didn't reappear on the other side, as it has done 4,104 times before.
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