BepiColombo captures view of Mercury’s

BepiColombo captures this beautiful view of Mercury’s rich geological landscape during today’s flyby

The BepiColombo mission’s first photograph of Mercury, taken during today’s flyby as part of a gravity assist manoeuvre, has been made public by the European Space Agency (ESA). The organisation announced that further photos from today’s flyby would be made public tomorrow.

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are working together on the BepiColombo project (JAXA). The spacecraft will make nine flybys of Mercury on its seven-year journey to the smallest planet in our solar system, making the gravity assist manoeuvre the fifth overall and the second at Mercury.



The Mercury Transfer Module’s Monitoring Camera 2 captured this breathtaking image of Mercury’s diverse geological environment at 09:49:22 UTC, when the spacecraft was just 920 kilometres from the planet’s surface. Earlier, at 09:44 UTC, there was a near approach of around 200 kilometres.

Along with other geological features, enormous impact craters, including a 200 km wide multi-ringed basin that is partially obscured by the magnetometer boom, are plainly seen in this image.

In a statement on Thursday, the ESA stated that the quick look was “a tantalising sample of the rich geology that BepiColombo is planned to examine in more detail from orbit.”

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