Artist's impression of Messenger approaching Mercury
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Mercury Messenger engineer on craft's special design

Nasa scientists have been outlining details of the Mercury Messenger spacecraft's mission ahead of its arrival in orbit around the planet in March.

The craft has already performed three passes of the rocky little world, last visited in 1974 by the passing Mariner 10.

Mission systems engineer Eric Finnegan explained some of the features on the craft designed to help it cope with the extremely hostile conditions.