On Thursday, a spacecraft bound for Mercury spun under the influence of Venus, using Earth’s neighbors to adjust the path to the smallest and innermost planet in the solar system.
The flyby is the second of the nine so-called planetary gravitational aids required by the spacecraft for a seven-year journey to Mercury. The first happened around the earth, in April.
The European Space Agency described the 1.3 billion euro (about 11183 billion rupees) mission as one of the most challenging missions to date. The extreme temperature of Mercury, the strong solar gravitation and the strong solar radiation put people in a hellish state.
BepiColombo will fly over a Venus and the six Mercury itself before arriving in 2025. Once it arrives, the spacecraft will split into two, releasing a European orbiter called Bepi, which will rush into Mercury’s internal orbit, while Mio, an aircraft built by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, can change from Collect data at long distances.
Both probes are designed to cope with temperature. The side facing the sun is 430 degrees Celsius (806 F), and in the shadow of Mercury, it is -180 degrees Celsius (-292 F).
The researchers hope that the BepiColombo mission will help them learn more about Mercury, which is only slightly larger than the Earth’s moon and has a huge iron core.
The last spacecraft to visit Mercury was NASA’s “Messenger” probe, which ended its mission in 2015 after four years of orbit. Prior to this, NASA’s Mariner 10 flew over the Earth in the mid-1970s.
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