The European Space Agency (ESA) and JAXA (BepiColombo) space mission have made their second pass over the planet Mercury in our solar system. The spacecraft was approximately 200 kilometers from the planet’s surface. You can check out some of the photos BepiColombo took of Mercury when it flew over the planet last week in the video above.
BepiColombo left Earth in 2018 and previously flew Mercury. The idea is that BepiColombo will enter orbit around Mercury 2025 when its actual mission begins. Currently, not all of the craft’s instruments are activated, which will happen when you are in orbit around Mercury.
Before BepiColombo enters orbit around Mercury, the spacecraft will make four more sidewalks for the planet. The next track is scheduled for June 20, 2023.
Technically speaking, BepiColombo consists of two spacecraft that will separate from each other when placed in orbit around Mercury. Below is an illustration showing the European Space Agency’s Mercury Orbiter in the foreground, and JAXA’s Mercury Orbiter in the background.
ESA’s first mission to our innermost planet
The European Space Agency (ESA) has released a new image of the three spacecraft that will go to and explore the planet Mercury in our solar system. The mission is called BepiColombo and from left to right you see the European Space Agency’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter which will examine the planet’s surface and composition, in the middle you can see the Mercury Transfer Module that will take the other two vehicles to Mercury and on the far right you can see JAXA’s Mercury Magnetomagnetic Orbiter to explore the field Magnetic planet. BepiColombo will be ESA’s first-ever Mercury mission, and if all goes according to plan, the three spacecraft will leave Earth in 2017.
It will take seven years to reach the hot planet
On Friday, the European Space Agency ESA and its Japanese counterpart JAXA launched an Ariane 5 rocket that sent two spacecraft to Mercury, the smallest planet in our solar system and also the least explored. The mission is called BepiColombo and the two spacecraft, JAXA’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) and ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) are expected to be at Mercury for about 7 years. On the way there, they will also study Venus to finally drop the two spacecraft to Mercury in 2025. Mercury is about 60 million kilometers from the sun, which is comparable to 150 million kilometers on Earth. During the day, temperatures on the planet can reach over 400 degrees while it can drop to as low as 170 degrees below zero at night. Found above when the Ariane 5 rocket carrying the BepiColombo spacecraft to Mercury was launched last Friday and below, YouTuber Scott Manley talks a little more about the mission.
He made his first foray into the innermost planet of the solar system
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) and JAXA’s BepiColombo spacecraft made its first pass of Mercury and also provided the first image of the inner solar system. The image was taken when BepiColombo was 2,418 kilometers from the surface of Mercury and clearly shows some craters on the planet. The European Space Agency writes about the image: “The displayed area is part of the northern hemisphere of Mercury including lava-infused Sihtu Planitia. A smoother and brighter circular area of its circumference characterizes the plains around Calvino crater, called the Rudaki plains. Lermontov crater, which It is 166 kilometers wide, which looks bright because it has features unique to Mercury called “hollows” where volatile elements escape into space. It also has a vent where volcanic eruptions occurred.” BepiColombo will make five more bypasses of Mercury before the spacecraft is believed to enter the planet’s atmosphere, something that is set to happen sometime in 2025.
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