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A crane lifts MESSENGER out of the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center on Feb. 26, after the spacecraft completed five weeks of rigorous tests that showed it could withstand the wide range of hot and cold temperatures it will face on its journey to and mission around Mercury. Four of MESSENGER's seven science instruments reside inside the "ring" on the bottom deck of the spacecraft, which also connects MESSENGER to its launch vehicle.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

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