darmstadt The probe again came very close to Mercury and took pictures. However, it will not reach its final orbit until 2025.
On Thursday, the “BepiColombo” space probe passed its future destination Mercury for the second time. Everything went well, said Simon Plum of the German Press Agency, head of ESA mission operations at the control center in Darmstadt.
The probe also took snapshots as it flew around the innermost planet in our solar system.
The plan was to let the probe cross Mercury at an altitude of about 200 kilometers in the morning. Before the spacecraft 2025, which is controlled from the control center in Darmstadt, finally reaches its orbit, it has to fly over the planet a total of six times and thus slow down. This is because of the extreme gravitational pull of the Sun.
The “BepiColombo” space probe was launched in October 2018 on a seven-year journey to the nearest planet to the Sun. With two satellites on board, it is scheduled to probe the celestial body’s surface and magnetic field from December 2025. The European-Japanese joint project, with a total cost of approximately two billion euros, aims to contribute to a better understanding of the origins of the Solar System.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220623-99-771828/2
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