The MESSENGER spacecraft, the first to orbit the planet Mercury, overcame many technical challenges to survive the harsh environment of the inner solar system. Along the way, the mission’s discoveries about one of our nearest planetary neighbors have changed our understanding of how the inner planets – including Earth – formed and evolved.

Dr. Sean C. Solomon, Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Associate Director for Earth Systems Science, Earth Institute
William B. Ransford Professor of Earth and Planetary Science, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University

April 13, 2016