Status Report

NASA MESSENGER Mission News April 2, 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
April 6, 2004
Filed under , , ,
NASA MESSENGER Mission News April 2, 2004

On and Off

With last week’s announcement that MESSENGER will launch later
this summer, the spacecraft team in Florida had to demonstrate
some flexibility. On March 17, engineers installed the flight
battery – typically a milestone toward launch. In this Webcam
frame the 24.5-kilogram (54-pound) flight battery is settled
into position with an overhead crane in the Astrotech Space
Operations facility near Cape Canaveral.

All batteries have a
limited lifetime and thus, flight batteries are only installed
shortly before launch to maximize their usable time in space. A
spare battery had provided MESSENGER with power since last

With the change in launch date, the flight battery came off
early this week, to be reinstalled closer to July 30.

SpaceRef staff editor.