Artist’s impression of the BepiColombo spacecraft at MercurySpacecraft: ESA/ATG medialab; Mercury: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
The European and Japanese mission BepiColombo will make a fly-by of the solar system’s innermost world next month, diving to just 200 kilometres above the surface of sun-scorched Mercury.
The spacecraft, which is specially engineered to withstand the high temperatures near our star, will collect data and images during the pass, making its closest approach to Mercury – known as periherm – on 1 October.
This will be “the first of six fly-bys of Mercury aimed at reducing BepiColombo’s velocity”, says Elsa Montagnon …

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