Question: Recently Spacecraft BepiColombo was sent to probe which planet?
- An Ariane 5 Rocket was launched from French Guyana with an unmanned spacecraft BepiColombo which is carrying the two probes.
- The European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan aerospace exploration agency (JAXA) have successfully sent two probes on a joint mission to Mercury, the closest planet to Sun.
- The spacecraft separated and went into orbit for the 7-year trip to Mercury.
Details of this Mission:
- It is the first European mission to Mercury and the first to send two spacecraft to make complementary measurements of the planet and its environment at the same time.
- The ESA-built Mercury Transfer Module (MTM) that will carry the orbiters to Mercury using a solar electric propulsion and gravity assist flybys.
- The two orbiters are ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and JAXA’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO).
- The two orbiters will be able to operate some of their instruments during the cruise phase, to try and collect data at Venus.
Challenges before the Mission:
- The mission will have to ensure a controlled fall.
- The sun’s enormous gravity makes it difficult to place a spacecraft into a stable orbit around Mercury.