BepiColombo

BepiColombo: ESA’s orbiter will pass near the planet Mercury, know what the expectations are

cosmos science Technology

The BepiColombo mission, a joint mission of the European and Japanese Space Agency, will pass near the planet Mercury for the first time after two days. This mission will enter the orbit of this planet in the year 2025. But before that, this vehicle will have to pass by Mercury many times and sometimes near-Earth and Venus. At present, this will be the first time that BepiColombo will come close to only 200 kilometres from Mercury. It is expected that a lot of valuable scientific information and pictures of Mercury can be found.

Bepicolombo has passed near Venus in August only. The subsequent encounter of this spacecraft is now going to be with Mercury. This is being seen as an opportunity to get the first glimpse of the campaign. In this mission, there will be two scientific orbiters, which will be transported to the orbits of Mercury by the year 2025 through the Mercury Transfer Module.

The Mercury Planetary Orbiter led by the European Space Agency and the Mercury Magnetosphere Orbiter Meo, led by the Japanese Space Agency JAXA, will study the interior of this minor planet, including its magnetic field, the origin of the earth along with its exosphere, as well as its evolution. It will also include doing.


BepiColombo will use a total of nine flybys to orbit Mercury. Out of this, it will pass through Earth once, Venus twice and Mercury six times in total. The accuracy of the gravitational flyby is of great importance in deep space travel work, which involves ensuring that the spacecraft’s trajectory is moving correctly.

The challenge in the case of BepiColombo is that it is now 100 million kilometres away from the Earth, from where the light takes 350 seconds, i.e. about six minutes to reach us. In such a situation, there is a need to do a correction maneuver in its path. This exercise had to be done even while passing near the planet Venus. This vehicle will pass 198 km above Mercury, which will need to be done for 200 km. This improvement exercise will be done through a simple process of Solar Electric Propulsion Maneuver.

It’s not easy to take a picture
It is not possible to take high-resolution images during the flyby with the primary science camera as it will be covered by the transfer module during this time. Apart from this, BepiColombo will pass near Mercury during the night, which will not be ideal for taking pictures. Nevertheless, the surveillance cameras of the vehicle will be able to take photos of it only from a distance of one thousand kilometres.

How will the picture be?
After taking the first picture, it will take half an hour to reach the Earth. The resolution of the black and white image will be 1024 X 1024 pixels, and the solar panel and antenna will also be visible in this picture. During this flyby, the planet Mercury will be seen passing behind the spacecraft’s instruments.

One of these cameras will be focused on the northern hemisphere of Mercury, and the other will be focused on the southern hemisphere. After approaching, the camera will take pictures one after the other and later, the third camera will take pictures. From these pictures, scientists are hoping to see the craters formed on the planet Mercury, which is also expected to give information about the formation and development of Mercury.