This is the last image sent by NASA’s Messenger before it crashed into Mercury

At approximately 3.26PM ET yesterday, NASA’s Messenger probe slammed into the planet Mercury at speeds of around 8,750mph or two and half miles per second. The picture above is the last image it beamed back to Earth before ending its 10-year mission, four years of which were spent orbiting Mercury, the solar system’s smallest planet.

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Although the craft ran out of fuel weeks ago, NASA scientists made the final adjustments to its destructive flight path by venting the helium gas used to pressurize its fuel tanks. The three-meter-long Messenger became the first spacecraft to crash into Mercury — adding a crater estimated to be five times its size to the planet’s pockmarked surface. John Grunsfeld, the associate administrator of NASA’s…

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