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Title:
The X-Ray Spectrometer on the MESSENGER Spacecraft
Authors:
Schlemm, Charles E.; Starr, Richard D.; Ho, George C.; Bechtold, Kathryn E.; Hamilton, Sarah A.; Boldt, John D.; Boynton, William V.; Bradley, Walter; Fraeman, Martin E.; Gold, Robert E.; Goldsten, John O.; Hayes, John R.; Jaskulek, Stephen E.; Rossano, Egidio; Rumpf, Robert A.; Schaefer, Edward D.; Strohbehn, Kim; Shelton, Richard G.; Thompson, Raymond E.; Trombka, Jacob I.; Williams, Bruce D.
Affiliation:
AA(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AB(Department of Physics, The Catholic University of America), AC(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AD(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AE(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AF(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AG(Department of Planetary Science, Space Sciences Building, University of Arizona), AH(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AI(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AJ(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AK(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AL(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AM(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AN(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AO(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AP(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AQ(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AR(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AS(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory), AT(Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 691), AU(The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory)
Publication:
Space Science Reviews, Volume 131, Issue 1-4, pp. 393-415 (SSRv Homepage)
Publication Date:
08/2007
Origin:
SPRINGER
Keywords:
Mercury, MESSENGER, X-ray spectrometry, Surface composition, X-ray emissions, Elemental composition
Abstract Copyright:
(c) 2007: Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
DOI:
10.1007/s11214-007-9248-5
Bibliographic Code:
2007SSRv..131..393S

Abstract

NASA's MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) mission will further the understanding of the formation of the planets by examining the least studied of the terrestrial planets, Mercury. During the one-year orbital phase (beginning in 2011) and three earlier flybys (2008 and 2009), the X-Ray Spectrometer (XRS) onboard the MESSENGER spacecraft will measure the surface elemental composition. XRS will measure the characteristic X-ray emissions induced on the surface of Mercury by the incident solar flux. The Kalpha lines for the elements Mg, Al, Si, S, Ca, Ti, and Fe will be detected. The 12° field-of-view of the instrument will allow a spatial resolution that ranges from 42 km at periapsis to 3200 km at apoapsis due to the spacecraft's highly elliptical orbit. XRS will provide elemental composition measurements covering the majority of Mercury's surface, as well as potential high-spatial-resolution measurements of features of interest. This paper summarizes XRS's science objectives, technical design, calibration, and mission observation strategy.
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