ESA launches probe that will conduct research into Mercury

Oct

20

2018

The European Space Agency (ESA) has launched a rocket with a probe on board that will have to operate in a Mercury runway. However, it will take until 2025 until the probe, named BepiColombo, has arrived at the planet.

The Ariane 5 rocket on board the BepiColombo rose on Friday night from a launch base in French Guiana. Some time later, the spacecraft signaled that everything was going well, allowing a course to be taken to Mercury. The intention is that in 2025 BepiColombo finds its final job around the planet, which is closest to the sun.

BepiColombo is a partnership between the European and the Japanese space agency. Where the ESA has built the module to carry the probe, it actually consists of two different parts; a European and a Japanese part. The European part of the probe will mainly explore the planet itself, while the Japanese part will focus on the solar wind. During the trip to Mercury, both probes will be able to use some of their instruments. This means that data collection can be started relatively quickly.

Mercury is not only closest to the sun, but it is also the smallest of all the planets within our solar system. During the journey the probe has to survive temperatures between -180 degrees and 450 degrees.

BepiColombo mission

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