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The MESSENGER probe confirms water ice in abundance at Mercury’s poles

Artist’s rendering of the MESSENGER (an acronym of MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging) spacecraft orbiting Mercury. Credit: NASA.

New observations by NASA’s Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging spacecraft have confirmed a long-held hypothesis that Mercury harbors abundant water ice and other frozen volatile materials in its permanently-shadowed polar craters. Scientists discuss the development with media at NASA Headquarters in Washington on Nov. 29.