In the night between 1st and 2nd October 2021 Bepicolombo will approach #Mercury, the closest Planet to the Sun. The probe will fly over Mercury at an altitude of about 200 km capturing images and scientific data, the first step of what will happen during the main mission starting from 2025.
Bepicolombo is an #ESA – European Space Agcency /JAXA – Japan Space Agency – mission realized with the strong support of ASI – Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, INAF – Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica and other institutions.
Also #OHBItalia is on board with two fundamental instruments: #SERENA (Search for Exospheric Refilling and Emitted Natural Abundaces) with the target to analyse the composition, origin and dynamics of Mercury’s exosphere and magnetosphere and #ELENA (Emitted Low-Energy Neutral Atoms) a neutral particle camera that investigates neutral gases escaping from the surface of Mercury, their dynamics and the processes responsible for such a population.
On its journey to Mercury, the probe made one flyby around Earth and two around Venus. It will continue its journey with six flies over Mercury before finding the final orbital positioning, where the secrets of the extreme conditions of Mercury can finally be observed like never before.