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The BepiColombo space probe takes the first pictures of Mercury

The BepiColombo space probe takes the first pictures of Mercury

Nearly three years after its launch, the European-Japanese space probe “BepiColombo” took its first image of the planet Mercury.

The basics in brief

  • The BepiColombo probe captured its first image of Mercury.
  • Large craters on the planet’s surface remind us of the moon.

As the European Space Agency announced on Saturday, the probe transmitted black and white images to Mercury after its first flyby. Earth. The northern hemisphere of the planet can be seen on it. With their big mouths Mercury’s surface reminds us Mouth.

According to the information, the space probe flew over Mercury at an altitude of 199 kilometers. Since the arrival of “BepiColombo” on the night side of the planet, conditions have been “not ideal”. So the next photo was taken from a distance of about a thousand kilometers.

Seven year journey

BepiColombo began on October 20, 2018, on a seven-year journey to the smallest and least explored planet in our solar system. The mission to the planet closest to the Sun is one of the most complex space projects in Europe to date.

The journey is especially complicated due to Mercury’s proximity to the Sun. Given the sun’s immense gravity, it requires a lot energyTo launch a spacecraft into the orbit of the planet.

In the case of “BepiColombo”, this means: In order to set the speed, you must Complete nine flights on planet Earth. He’s already flown near the plane once Earth And past Venus twice. After a total of six flights of Mercury, the probe is expected to swing into orbit around its target planet in 2025.

Ice on Mercury?

So far, only two missions have reached the US space agency NASA Mercury: the “Mariner 10” of the 1970s and the “Messenger” space probe, which orbited Mercury from 2011 to 2015.

The BepiColombo mission aims to explore the properties of Mercury’s internal structure and magnetic field. Among other things, it will investigate the question of whether there is ice in the sun-facing craters.

More on this topic:

Moon energy NASA Earth