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Engineers prepare the MESSENGER spacecraft for a vibration test at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md., where the Mercury-bound NASA spacecraft was designed and built. Conducted on a vibration table, the test checks the spacecraft's structural integrity by simulating the rough ride atop a launch vehicle. MESSENGER's mirrored solar panels are folded in on the sides of the spacecraft; the long post in the center is the folded boom for MESSENGER's Magnetometer instrument.

Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

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