• Tue. Oct 26th, 2021

mccoy.ventures

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The BepiColombo spacecraft is about to make its first Mercury fly-by

Artist?s impression of the BepiColombo spacecraft at Mercury. The mission comprises ESA?s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (foreground) and JAXA?s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (background). The image of Mercury was taken by NASA?s Messenger spacecraft.

Artist’s impression of the BepiColombo spacecraft at Mercury

Spacecraft: ESA/ATG medialab; Mercury: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

The European and Japanese mission BepiColombo will make a fly-by of the solar system’s innermost world next month, diving to just 200 kilometres above the surface of sun-scorched Mercury.

The spacecraft, which is specially engineered to withstand the high temperatures near our star, will collect data and images during the pass, making its closest approach to Mercury – known as periherm – on 1 October.

This will be “the first of six fly-bys of Mercury aimed at reducing BepiColombo’s velocity”, says Elsa Montagnon …