3.18.13 - On March 17, 2013, MESSENGER successfully completed its year-long first extended mission in orbit about Mercury, building on the groundbreaking scientific results from its earlier primary mission.
1.4.13 - In 2012, the MESSENGER mission to Mercury completed its primary mission, embarked on an extended mission, saw its images and maps featured on a highly rated television show, sponsored the release of a dedicated app, and celebrated the 8th anniversary of its launch, all the while continuing to produce new findings about the planet closest to the Sun.
12.21.12 - The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recently approved a proposal from the MESSENGER Science Team to assign names to nine impact craters on Mercury. The IAU has been the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature since its inception in 1919. In keeping with the established naming theme for craters on Mercury, all of the newly designated features are named after famous deceased artists, musicians, or authors or other contributors to the humanities.
11.29.12 - New observations by the MESSENGER spacecraft provide compelling support for the long-held hypothesis that Mercury harbors abundant water ice and other frozen volatile materials in its permanently shadowed polar craters.
11.15.12 - MESSENGER has discovered assemblages of tectonic landforms unlike any previously found on Mercury or elsewhere in the Solar System. The findings are reported in a paper led by Smithsonian scientist Thomas Watters, "Extension and contraction within volcanically buried impact craters and basins on Mercury," published in the December issue of the journal Geology.