Science & Nature

Europe, Japan probes to get 1st take a look at vacation spot Mercury

FILE - In this file photo made available by NASA shows the planet Venus made with data from the Magellan spacecraft and Pioneer Venus Orbiter. Two spacecraft are set to swoop past Venus within hours of each other this week, using the manoeuvre to do a little bit of bonus science on the way to the center of our solar system, starting with the Solar Orbiter probe operated by NASA and the European Space Agency early Monday Aug. 9, 2021 (NASA/JPL-Caltech FILE via AP)
FILE – In this file photograph made out there by NASA reveals the planet Venus made with information from the Magellan spacecraft and Pioneer Venus Orbiter. Two spacecraft are set to swoop previous Venus inside hours of one another this week, utilizing the manoeuvre to do some little bit of bonus science on the way in which to the middle of our photo voltaic system, beginning with the Solar Orbiter probe operated by NASA and the European Space Agency early Monday Aug. 9, 2021 (NASA/JPL-Caltech FILE through AP)AP

BERLIN (AP) — A joint European-Japanese spacecraft is ready to fly by Mercury for the primary time late Friday on its path to ship two probes into the planet’s orbit in 2025.

The BepiColombo mission will make the primary of six flybys of Mercury at about 2334 GMT (1934 EST), utilizing the planet’s gravity to gradual itself down.

As it passes by Mercury all the way down to an altitude of 200 kilometers (125 miles) the spacecraft will collect its first information and pictures earlier than zooming off once more.

The joint mission by the European Space Agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency was launched in 2018, flying as soon as previous Earth and twice previous Venus on its journey to the innermost planet of the photo voltaic system.

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

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