(ORDO NEWS) — The primary purpose of the flyby is to fine-tune the flight path of the spacecraft to ensure it is on the correct course for future missions.
A flyby of Mercury revealed the planet’s cratered surface. The BepiColomobo spacecraft descended to an altitude of 200 km above the planet’s surface on Thursday to capture the rich geological landscape.
To take a selfie with Mercury, the spacecraft used three surveillance cameras (MCAMs) before entering orbit in 2025. In total, the device will have to make six such flights around Mercury.
The main purpose of the flyby is to fine-tune the BepiColombo’s trajectory to ensure it is on the correct course for future extensive and lengthy surveys.
Developed jointly by the European Space Agency (EKA) and the Japanese space agency JAXA, the spacecraft will reveal more about the closest planet to the sun.
The probe will acquire new images of the surface, while instruments for monitoring the magnetic field, plasma and particles will take samples of the environment both near and far from the planet.
The flyby is necessary in order to lower the orbit in which the apparatus moves. The ESA said the final flyby would slow the spacecraft by 1.3 kilometers per second.
The European Space Agency has said reaching orbit around Mercury is a challenge. The BepiColombo spacecraft had to drop the power with which it launched from Earth.
Thus, the first flybys of Earth and Venus by BepiColombo were used to “dump” power and approach the center of the solar system.
And a series of flybys around Mercury is used to lose more orbital power, but now with the goal of capturing the hot surface of the planet.
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