Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 14 News List

NASA spacecraft soars past Mercury 美國太空船勘測水星

This NASA handout image received on Oct. 7, 2008 shows the surface of Mercury. The bright crater just south of the center of the image is known as Kuiper. It was first identified on images from the Mariner 10 mission in the 1970s.PHOTO: AFP

A US space probe successfully flew by Mercury earlier this month to photograph the Solar System’s smallest planet, in the second of three planned passes, the US space agency NASA said.

The spacecraft MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging) flew past the innermost planet at an altitude of 201 kilometers at a speed of 23,818 kilometers per hour.

“Everything went according to plan,” said spokeswoman Helen Johnson of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which is running the project.

MESSENGER first flew past Mercury on Jan. 14 this year, and will make its final pass in Sept. 2009.

This month’s trip aims to investigate the opposite side of the planet to the one seen on the first visit, said Louise Prockter, instrument scientist for the spacecraft’s Mercury Dual Imaging System at the Johns Hopkins University.

Mercury is the closest of all the planets to the Sun, but because of the high risks of its proximity to the Sun, it is one of the most mysterious bodies in the solar system, even though it is relatively close to Earth.









Paul: What have you bought this time, Mavis?

Mavis: It’s a certificate of ownership. I’ve just bought some property on the moon.

Paul: How did you do that?

Mavis: I bought it on a Web site. It only cost $100.

Paul: You’re an idiot. You have to stop spending money like it’s going out of fashion.

Mavis: You’re probably right.







spend money like it’s going out of fashion


If somebody spends money like it’s going out of fashion, they are very wasteful and spend a lot of money all the time.

如果某人「spends money like it’s going out of fashion」,就表示他們非常揮霍,且總是花大錢買東西。

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