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Tag: BepiColombo

Mission to Mercury: BepiColombo spacecraft ready for launch

Mission to Mercury: BepiColombo spacecraft ready for launch

Science
Europe and Japan are set to launch their joint mission to Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun. The partners have each contributed a probe to be despatched on an Ariane rocket from French Guiana. The duo, together known as BepiColombo, are bolted to one another for the seven-year cruise to their destination, and will separate once they arrive. It's hoped their parallel observations can finally resolve some of the many puzzles about the hot, oddball planet. One of the key ones concerns the object's outsized iron core, which represents 60% of its mass. Science cannot yet explain why the planet only has a thin veneer of rocks. Bepi's high-resolution data should bring us nearer to an answer. Media playback is unsu...
BepiColombo: Joint Mercury mission ready for 'pizza oven'

BepiColombo: Joint Mercury mission ready for 'pizza oven'

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceThe two satellites that make up the BepiColombo mission to Mercury were presented to the media on Thursday. This joint European-Japanese venture has been in development for nearly two decades, but should finally get to the launch pad in 15 months' time.The two spacecraft will travel together to the baking world but separate on arrival to conduct their own studies.Thursday's event in the Netherlands was the last chance for journalists to view the so-called "flight stack".This is the edifice that goes on top of the rocket and comprises Europe's Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and Japan's Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), as well as the propulsion module to control their path towards the world that circles closest to the Sun.As a single item, th...