Bepi Colombo Spacecraft reaches Mercury in its journey towards Venus

Published: October 17, 2020

The BepiColombo Space Craft was launched jointly by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and European Space Agency to planet Mercury. The space craft has now crossed Venus on its way to Mercury.

Highlights

  • The mission BepiColombo consists of two satellites launched together. They are Mercury Planetary Orbiter and Mercury Magentospheric Orbiter. The two satellites will separate on arriving Mercury.
  • The mission will perform study of mercury. This will include characterisation of magnetosphere, magnetic field in both interior and on the surface of the mercury.
  • The spacecraft Bepicolombo was launched on Ariane 5 rocket.
  • It will arrive Mercury in 2025.
  • The Mission is a part of the Horizon 2000+ Programme of European Space Agency and was the last mission of the programme.

About Bepi colombo

It will characterise the solid and liquid cores of mercury. It will also perform magnetic and gravitational field mappings. Using the Gamma ray and neutron spectrometers provided by Russia, the mission will verify existence of water in the polar craters of Mercury. These craters are in permanent shadow from the sun’s rays.

Objectives of the Mission

  • To study the origin and evolution of Mercury
  • To investigate the exosphere of Mercury, its composition, dynamics
  • To study the magnetosphere of mercury
  • To verify Relativity Theory of Einstein

Nomenclature

The BepiColombo was named after the scientist Giuseppe Bepi Colombo. He was an engineer, mathematician and scientist from Italy. He proposed the Interplanetary Gravity Assist. It was first used in 1974 on Mariner 10 mission. The technique is now frequently used by planetary space crafts.

Interplanetary Gravity Assist

It is used to accelerate a space craft. Also, it is used to redirect from its path.

Horizon 2000+

The missions under the Horizon 2000 programme were Huygens, Rosatta and Gala. The mission launched under Horizon 2000+ were Gaia, LISA Pathfinder and Bepi colombo.

Giai measures the positions and distances of more than 1 billion objects in Milky way. LISA Path Finder demonstrates technologies of cosmic radiation.

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