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First detailed photos of Mercury received

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First detailed photos of Mercury received
The BepiColombo ships sent the first detailed images of Mercury. The photos were taken as a result of a recent close flyby of space mission vehicles near the planet.

On October 1, the ships managed to get to Mercury at 199 km, but since the flight was over the dark side of the planet, the photographs were taken from a distance of about 1000 kilometers. As a result, it was possible to take pictures from the surface and some fragments of the vehicles themselves.

BepiColombo is a joint ESA-JAXA project for the study of Mercury. The Ariane-5 launch vehicle with European and Japanese orbiters was launched in October 2018.

Mercury is currently the least studied planet of the terrestrial group of the solar system. Throughout history, only two devices Mariner and MESSENGER were sent to it. A small study of Mercury is due to such difficulties as a small gravitational effect from the planet and a large one from the Sun. All this leads to the fact that to send a probe, it is necessary to perform many actions.

The separation of the flight module will take place only in October 2025, and in December the vehicles will enter normal orbit. The start of the scientific activities of the mission is scheduled for March 26th, and the end will take place in May 2027. Operation can be continued with normal operation of the probes.

Each of the vehicles will perform its own tasks: the American module will explore the surface of Mercury, and the Japanese will study the magnetic field and magnetosphere. Both ships are equipped with all the necessary tools to collect all kinds of data about Mercury.

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