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BepiColombo probe. Instruments and vehicles

BepiColombo probe. Instruments and vehicles

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BepiColombo is the probe that will carry out the first European mission to Mercury, the innermost planet in the Solar System. It is scheduled for 2017, and will depart from the Guiana Space Center of Kourou. Once you have reached Mercury, approximately in January 2023, you will have to deal with temperatures up to 350 degrees Celsius.

For a terrestrial year, or little else, it will collect all kinds of data for the study of its surface and its internal composition. He will do it at different wavelengths and using different techniques, and will also study his magnetosphere.

BepiColombo is made up of three modules: a Japanese orbiter, a European orbiter and a propulsion module that will transport both probes to Mercury.

The complete unit has a height of about five meters, and weighs almost three tons, of which half are fuel.

An Ariane 5 rocket will be responsible for transporting the BepiColombo probe to space from the European base of Kourou, leaving it in an interplanetary orbit. During this six-year trip to Mercury, electric propulsion will be used.

The name of the mission was put in honor of Professor Giuseppe (Bepi) Colombo, an Italian scientist who worked at the University of Padua. It was Colombo who discovered that there was an orbital resonance responsible for Mercury rotating three times on its axis for every two revolutions it gave around the Sun.

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