Watch Earth Zoom By As A Spacecraft Passes Us On Its Way (Eventually) To Mercury

Watch Earth Zoom By As A Spacecraft Passes Us On Its Way (Eventually) To Mercury

by Phil Plait, Syfy Wire

BepiColombo is a joint European-Japanese mission currently on its way to the planet Mercury. It will map the surface and magnetosphere of the small world, and also make measurements that will characterize its interior, including the weirdly oversized core of the planet. It’s actually three spacecraft in one: a pair of orbiters that carry the scientific detectors, and a transfer vehicle that supports the orbiters on their way to Mercury and will place them into their orbits around it.

But first BepiColombo has to get there, and that’s quite a journey — it will do this via a series of gravity assists by other planets, passing close to them and giving them a little bit of its orbital energy, which will drop the spacecraft closer to the Sun. This will take a total of seven years (launch was in 2018, arrival in 2025), and will include two Venus flybys and six of Mercury itself to get itself into the proper trajectory for orbital insertion.

Read the full article here…

How did you like this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

SHARE THIS PAGE OR POST

Leave a Reply