April 1

The photos include the first color close-ups of the planet.  There have been “fly by” missions of the tiny planet.  But this is the first long-term, planet-orbiting mission.  The goal is to examine the geology, atmosphere, and magnetosphere during the craft’s year-long mission.  The vehicle was launched nearly seven years ago, on August 3, 2004.  For more details on this intriguing mission, and a great close-up photo, visit http://bit.ly/gUDTQz