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World Europe-Japan space mission captures images of Mercury

08:05  03 october  2021
08:05  03 october  2021 Source:   aljazeera.com

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This image made available by the European Space Agency shows planet Mercury taken by the joint European - Japanese BepiColombo spacecraft Mercury Transfer Module’s Monitoring Camera 2, Friday, October 1, 2021 [ESA via AP]. The joint mission by the European agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency was launched in 2018, flying once past Earth and twice past Venus on its journey to the solar system’s smallest planet. The ESA said the BepiColombo mission will study all aspects of Mercury from its core to surface processes, magnetic field and exosphere, “to better

The European Space Agency said the captured image shows the northern hemisphere and Mercury ’s characteristic pock-marked features – among them the 166km-wide Lermontov crater. An artist impression of BepiColombo flying by Mercury . Photograph: Esa/ATG Medialab/EPA. The joint mission by the European agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency was launched in 2018, flying once past Earth and twice past Venus on its journey to the solar system’s smallest planet. Five further flybys are needed before BepiColombo is sufficiently slowed down to release Esa’s

A joint European-Japanese spacecraft has sent back its first images of Mercury, the nearest planet to the Sun.

This image made available by the European Space Agency shows planet Mercury taken by the joint European-Japanese BepiColombo spacecraft Mercury Transfer Module’s Monitoring Camera 2, Friday, October 1, 2021 [ESA via AP] © Provided by Al Jazeera This image made available by the European Space Agency shows planet Mercury taken by the joint European-Japanese BepiColombo spacecraft Mercury Transfer Module’s Monitoring Camera 2, Friday, October 1, 2021 [ESA via AP]

The European Space Agency said the BepiColombo mission made the first of six flybys of Mercury at 11:34pm GMT on Friday, using the planet’s gravity to slow the spacecraft down.

After swooping past Mercury at altitudes of under 200 kilometers (125 miles), the spacecraft took a low resolution black-and-white photo with one of its monitoring cameras before zipping off again.

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Two spacecraft built by Europe and Japan captured their first up-close look at the planet Mercury in a weekend flyby, revealing a rocky world covered with craters. The two linked probes, known together as BepiColombo , snapped their first image of Mercury late Friday (Oct. 1) during a flyby that sent them zooming The encounter marked the first of six Mercury flybys for BepiColombo, a joint effort by the space agencies of Europe and Japan , to slow itself enough to enter orbit around the planet in 2025. BepiColombo took its first official photo of Mercury at 7:44 p.m. EDT (2344 GMT) with its Mercury

A space mission jointly launched by the European and Japanese space agencies has captured its first views of the planet Mercury during a "flawless" flyby. The BepiColombo mission 's closest approach took place close to midnight on Friday when the spacecraft came within 200km (125 miles) of The joint mission by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was launched in 2018. Using its monitoring cameras and capturing data from a number of scientific instruments - which was downloaded over the course of Saturday morning - a selection of

The ESA said the captured image shows the Northern Hemisphere and Mercury’s characteristic pock-marked features, among them the 166-kilometer-wide (103-mile-wide) Lermontov crater.

“The flyby was flawless from the spacecraft point of view, and it’s incredible to finally see our target planet,” said Elsa Montagnon, Spacecraft Operations Manager for the mission.

The joint mission by the European agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency was launched in 2018, flying once past Earth and twice past Venus on its journey to the solar system’s smallest planet.

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The ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission has captured its first views of its destination planet Mercury as it swooped past in a close gravity assist flyby last night. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe ’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

The European Space Agency said the captured image shows the Northern Hemisphere and Mercury 's characteristic pock-marked features, among them the 166-kilometer-wide (103-mile-wide) Lermontov crater. The joint mission by the European agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency was launched in 2018, flying once past Earth and twice past Venus on its journey to the solar system's smallest planet. Five further flybys are needed before BepiColombo is sufficiently slowed down to release ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter and JAXA’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter.

The ESA said the BepiColombo mission will study all aspects of Mercury from its core to surface processes, magnetic field and exosphere, “to better understand the origin and evolution of a planet close to its parent star”.

The mission aims to deliver two probes into Mercury’s orbit by the end of 2025.

The spacecraft could not be sent directly to planet, as the Sun’s pull is so strong that a huge braking manoeuvre would be needed to place the satellite successfully, requiring too much fuel for a ship of this size.

The gravity exerted by the Earth and Venus – known as gravitational assist – allows it to slow down ‘naturally’ during its journey.

Five further flybys are needed before BepiColombo is sufficiently slowed down to release ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter and JAXA’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter.

Farouk El Baz, a space scientist at Boston University, called the successful flyby an “extraordinary moment”.

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The European Space Agency said the captured image shows the Northern Hemisphere and Mercury ’s characteristic pock-marked features, among them the 166-kilometer-wide (103-mile-wide) Lermontov crater. The joint mission by the European agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency was launched in 2018, flying once past Earth and twice past Venus on its journey to the solar system’s smallest planet. Five further flybys are needed before BepiColombo is sufficiently slowed down to release ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter and JAXA’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter.

A joint European - Japanese spacecraft is set to fly by Mercury for the first time late Friday on its path to deliver two probes into the planet's orbit in 2025. As it passes by Mercury down to an altitude of 200 kilometers (125 miles) the spacecraft will gather its first data and images before zooming off again. The joint mission by the European Space Agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency was launched in 2018, flying once past Earth and twice past Venus on its journey to the innermost planet of the solar system.

“It’s wonderful because of the fact that we used the gravitational pull of Mercury to put the spacecraft close enough so that we can see the pictures,” he told Al Jazeera.

“We have not been there for a long time and only two missions visited Mercury before, so we are expecting a great deal of information. We know that there is probably some leftover water, tiny amounts in the polar regions, in areas that never see the sun. But we are not sure about that,” he said.

“We hope this mission will give us a look at whether or not there is a little bit of water in the polar regions, where they never seen the sun, where it is cold, freezingly cold. But the planet moves around the sun very fast. It rotates around the sun in 88 days. So it is very different to other planets. So we need to know what it is made of, how did it develop, whether it has a gravitational field or not.”

The mission is named after Italian scientist Giuseppe ‘Bepi’ Colombo, who is credited with helping develop the gravity assist maneuver that NASA’s Mariner 10 first used when it flew to Mercury in 1974.

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This is interesting!