space travel
Mercury probe “BepiColombo” close to the destination for a short time

«Bepi Colombo»

Artist’s impression of the “BepiColombo” flyby of Mercury on October 1, 2021. Photo: ESA/ATG medialab/dpa/Handout

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The “BepiColombo” space probe passed its future destination Mercury for the second time on Thursday. Everything went well, said the head of ESA mission operations in the control center in Darmstadt, Simon Plum, of the German Press Agency. The probe also took snapshots as it flew around the innermost planet in our solar system.

The “BepiColombo” space probe is on Thursday for the second time directly at its later destination Mercury passed. Everything went well, said the head of ESA mission operations in the control center in Darmstadt, Simon Plum, of the German Press Agency. The probe also took snapshots as it flew around the innermost planet in our solar system.

The plan was to let the probe fly past Mercury at an altitude of around 200 kilometers in the morning. Before that from the control center in Darmstadt The controlled spaceship finally reaches its orbit in 2025, it has to fly past the planet a total of six times and thus be slowed down. The reason is the enormous gravitational pull of the sun.

the spacecraft “BepiColombo” started in October 2018 on its seven-year journey to the planet closest to the sun. With two satellites on board, it is scheduled to examine the surface and magnetic field of the celestial body from December 2025. The European-Japanese joint project with a total cost of around two billion euros is intended to contribute to a better understanding of the origins of the solar system.

dpa