Use the resources on the Behind the Mission to Mercury student esheet to help you answer the questions on this sheet.
Mercury the Mission/Spacecraft Design
How will this mission help us learn about earth and the solar system as a whole?
What are the goals of the MESSENGER Mission?
When scientists and engineers had to do the initial planning for this mission, what do you think they had to take into consideration?
Consider the X-Ray Spectrometer. Do you think that the people planning this mission had to consider how much money it would cost to build it?
What if you only had a certain amount of money, and you had to spend less on the X-Ray Spectrometer or on other instruments? What are some considerations when making your choice?
How could you find out about the life and quality of the instrument, before it is built?
What are other limitations for the instruments for this mission?
What is the point of testing the performance of an instrument before the mission?
MESSENGER, Mission to Mercury
Why are the instruments an important factor in meeting the goals of the mission?
What are some of the goals of the mission?
What constraints did you notice when planning for this mission?
Were there tradeoffs when trying to make the mission work?