A NASA probe that has circled Mercury for the past four years will make a dramatic death plunge into the planet´s surface in late April when it runs out of fuel.

The MESSENGER spacecraft -- which stands for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging -- will end its run, as planned, on or around April 30, the US space agency said.

Its mission was initially only supposed to last one year, but since it was operating well and returning interesting data and discoveries, scientists extended its life as long as they could.

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