Around April 30, the spacecraft is going to make a crash landing into the planet.
The spacecraft is studying the inner most planet of the solar system, Mercury for more than four years.
It is the first close study of the planets since the NASA’s Mariner 10 spacecraft made three flybys in the mid 1970.
Messenger is losing altitude and is out of fuel and is expected to make a high speed crash landing at around 3:25 EDT near the planets north pole, as reported by flight controllers.
Daniel O’Shaughnessy, systems engineer with Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which operates the spacecraft said, “The spacecraft will pass behind the planet, out of view from the Earth, and will just not emerge again.”
The spacecraft will be travelling at 8,724 miles per hour or 14,040 km per hour.
The impact will leave a fresh crater which would be roughly 52 feet or 16 meters in diameter.
Astronomers believe that this may serve as an interesting reference point for a follow on European spacecraft called BepiColombo, which is due to arrive in 2024.
The crater will help scientist to understand the fast weathering process of the planet.
This is one of the findings of Messenger.
Other finding of Messenger is the detection of elements such as sulfur, potassium on planet’s surface; this is a strange finding because the volatile material should evaporate under the extreme heat conditions.
Mercury is 36 million miles or 58 million km away from the sun, this where it was formed and orbiting the sun.
Earth is 93 million miles from the sun.
Messenger also detected ice and other materials, even carbon based organics on the surface of the planet where sunlight never reaches.
Lead scientist Sean Solomon, with Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York said as the spacecraft is descending it will attempt to peer directly inside the targeted craters.
It will also look for magnetized crust and solve the mystery why such a tiny planet is having such a strong magnetic field. The magnetic field is asymmetric.