Mercury-bound spacecraft whizzes by smaller planet for the second time

The Mercury-bound BepiColombo probe took its second look at its target planet today during a super-close flyby designed to slow the spacecraft and adjust its trajectory.

bepicolombo It is a joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The mission, made up of two orbiters traveling to Mercury stacked on top of each other, thrown out in orbit around the sun in 2018. Since then, ground controllers have been adjusting the spacecraft’s trajectory through a series of nine flyby maneuvers (one on Earth, two on Venus and six on Mercury itself), to gradually slow down BepiColombo so that it can enter orbit around the Solar system‘s innermost planet in 2025.

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