OK, I have had some sad good-byes in my blog this month, so here is a bittersweet one.
Earlier this afternoon, NASA’s Messenger probe, the first planetary probe to orbit Mercury, crashed into Mercury’s surface.
Although this means the end of Messenger, it also means that this particular probe fulfilled all expectations and then some: it worked flawlessly until it ran out of fuel and could no longer maintain a stable orbit around Mercury. The information it provided about the Solar System’s innermost planet will no doubt be studied for many years to come.
Good-bye, Messenger, and thanks for all the good work.