Robert Strom of the University of Arizona was a scientist on the Mariner and current Messenger missions and he said for a while he thought he wouldn't get a second peek at the eccentric Mercury.
NASA spacecraft now circling Mercury _ a first
"I am just so thrilled it isn't funny," Strom said by telephone minutes after NASA confirmed that Messenger was in orbit. "Thirty-six years waiting for this day. It's just unbelievable."