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Does NASA Know It's Mercury Retrograde?

See the first photos of Mercury's surface, and it's retrograde, too!

What is NASA thinking? It isn't the brightest idea to send the Messenger Mission to Mercury just as the trickster planet goes retrograde in Aries, but so far so good.

In fact, today -- in spite of the risk of Mercury Retrograde's typical miscommunications and malfunctions -- NASA successfully released the first images of the surface of Mercury taken by the Mercury Messenger spacecraft, which entered the planet’s orbit on March 17. And just as suspected, Merc's a bewitching beauty of a planet.

The NASA images reveal the tiny planet’s shadowy surface, including a first look at the terrain near Mercury’s poles and the Debussy and Machaut craters. You can check out all the NASA photos of Mercury here.

The Messenger spacecraft will spend at least a year photographing, mapping and studying Mercury -- that is, if the planet’s retrograde backspin doesn’t downright dismantle the shuttle.

Mercury goes retrograde March 30 at 1:48 p.m. (PST), so we’ll keep our eyes on the skies to see if NASA encounters any problems. And be sure to visit our Mercury Retrograde Central pages for tips on how to survive and thrive in life, love and work during the MRx chaos now through April 23.

What do you think about the timing of NASA's Mission to Mercury taking place during Mercury Retrograde? Is this yet another instance when astronomers should check with astrologers before they act?

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