First close-up pictures of Mercury from BepiColombo hint at answers to the planet’s secrets

This article was originally published at The Conversation. The publication contributed the article to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences, The Open University The BepiColombo spacecraft – a joint project by the European and Japanese space agencies – swung by its destination planet Mercury in the early hours of Saturday, Oct. … Read more

Face to face with Mercury. The BepiColombo probe en route past its target

The photo was taken with one of the Mercury Transfer Module’s overview cameras – when the spacecraft was approximately 2,418 kilometers from Mercury. The probe had passed the planet only 199 km away not long before. The region shown is part of Mercury’s northern hemisphere, including the volcanic plain of Sihtu Planitia. Also visible is … Read more

Helpful Venus. Successful gravity assists on two research missions

The considered flights were on August 9 and 10, respectively. – only 33 hours apart. First, the Solar Orbiter mission was at the closest point on its trajectory to the second planet of the solar system, already making the second of its tight passages around Venus (the first took place in December 2020). This probe … Read more

All About The Passage Through Venus Of The BepiColombo And Solar Orbiter Probes

ESA/NASA’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft passed Venus on August 9 at a distance of 7995 km, while ESA/JAXA’s BepiColombo mission passed just 552 km from the planet’s surface on August 10th. The flights were needed to give the spacecraft a gravity boost so they can reach their next destinations. BepiColombo will make the first of six … Read more