NASA engineers have lifted the orbit of the Mercury probe - currently operating on an extended mission and almost out of fuel - and delayed its inevitable impact into Mercury's surface by up to a month.
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MESSENGER has recently completed its 3,000th orbit of Mercury and moved closer to the planet than any spacecraft has been before, dropping to an altitude of 199 kilometers (123.7 miles) above the planet`s surface.
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The Neutron Spectrometer flying aboard NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft is all set to take a closer look at Mercury to understand the planet’s crust, as the spacecraft make its third and final pass around Mercury on Tuesday.