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BepiColombo mission ready to be launched to Mercury

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor October 18, 2018 12:27

BepiColombo mission ready to be launched to Mercury

Seven years flying through nine trillion kilometres in space is what awaits two probes travelling to unlock the secrets of the smallest planet in our solar system, Mercury. The “BepiColombo” mission to the so called “Swift Planet” takes off from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana on October 20 aboard an Ariane 5 rocket with two orbiters on board: the European “Mercury Planetary Orbiter” (MPO) and the “Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter” (MMO).

The mission is expected to build on the discoveries made by NASA’s Messenger mission, which orbited the planet between 2011 and 2015, and aimed at providing information about solar system evolution in general. A big challenge for the mission is the gravity of the Sun, which makes it hard to place a spacecraft into a stable orbit around Mercury, for which even more energy is needed than when sending a mission to Pluto. The name of the mission, “BepiColombo”, goes back to the Italian mathematician and engineer Giuseppe (Bepi) Colombo (1920-1984).

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor October 18, 2018 12:27
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