There is a long and looping journey from Earth through the inner solar system Mercury, But sightseeing can make any long trip more exciting.
Swing past for planetary scientists, for our mysterious neighbor Fri. There is a very good scenery. And conveniently, Venus’s location makes it a powerful navigational tool for spacecraft to visit Mercury and the Sun: the spacecraft can carefully use the dance direction loop to adjust the depth of its solar system.
It is a definite maneuver Bepi Colombo, A joint European and Japanese mission to Mercury, the first of two planned Venus flybies completed overnight. According to the European Space Agency (ESA), the spacecraft made its closest approach to Venus at 11:58 a.m. on October 14 (0358 GMT. Oct. 15), reaching a distance of 6,660 miles (10,720 kilometers) from the planet.
Related: This stunning crescent-shaped earth is the last view of the house from Bepi Colombo
And scientists – especially those who study Venus – are rarely one to reject bonus observations. (NASA Parker Solar Probe, Another internal solar system mission, also receives observations of Venus when passing close to the planet.)
Many Bepicolombo equipment is too full for the long journey to Mercury to collect any information on Venus, but mission organizers selected about a dozen tools that they expected to be able to observe the planet during the flyby.
Bepi Colombo also had a little backup. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JXA), which operates one of the two orbiters built on the Mercury mission, also has an active spacecraft orbiting Venus. Akatsuki. Another JXA spacecraft in the Earth’s orbit, known as the Hisaki Spectroscopic Planet Observatory, and some land-based features to provide complementary observations during the flyby also turned their electronic gaze to Venus.
Although the spacecraft’s primary camera was not accessible, two small “selfie” cameras on the spacecraft attempted to capture Venus during the maneuver. An ESA statement Before the flyby.
An image captured by Monitoring Camera 2 of the intelligence transfer module shows Venus from a distance of about 10,560 miles (17,000 km), with the probe also showing the antenna and magnet et meter boom.
Other active instruments during the flyby collected data about Venus’s thick atmosphere and interactions with the planet. Solar wind, A constant flow of charged particles that flow through the sun and throughout space.
Because Venus is so different from Mercury, especially compared to the existence of Mercury with its ga thick, carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere, those instruments are not doing exactly what they need to when their mission begins meticulously. According to ESA.
However, they will have a second chance to study Venus when Bepicolombo will make its second flyby, in August 2021, before moving on to Mercury. Bapi Colombo will make the series Six flybies Mercury before entering orbit around a small planet in 2025. There, the mission will be divided into two component spacecraft to study Mercury’s surface, interior and surrounding area. Help scientists understand the solar system And its origins.
The illion 2 billion Bepi Colombo mission was launched on Wednesday, October 2018. The mission is expected to spend a year studying two orbiting planets.
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