Applied Scintillation Technology PRESS RELEASE    August 2004

AST neutron detection technology on the NASA Mission to Mercury

Applied Scintillation Technologies (AST), the world's premier supplier of neutron scintillators, was chosen to supply scintillators from its extensive range of standard and bespoke products for this NASA mission.

Two specially matched GS20 glass scintillator plates produced at their facility in Harlow, UK are aboard the MESSENGER Probe to Mercury.
  The plates are part of the Gamma ray and Neutron Spectrometer (GRNS) - developed by John Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory - to be used in the mapping Mercury's surface.

"Is there water on Mercury?" is one of those questions this instrument hopes to answer.
"AST's glass scintillators are well suited to working under harsh conditions like the extremes of Mercury's sun-side and dark-side environments", says Dr Glenn Tyrrell, AST's Technical & Business Development Director.
The MESSENGER probe is set to be the first spacecraft to orbit the planet Mercury on a critical data finding mission.  
It will travel 4.9 billion miles with two trips around Venus before it orbits Mercury in 2011.
Are these ice patches on Mercury's surface?

For more information, please contact:
Stuart Quinn   
Applied Scintillation Technologies
Phone# +44 (0)1279 641 234    Fax# +44 (0)1279 413 679
e-mail:      web:

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