Mercury photographed by a spacecraft in the Mercury exploration project

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Mercury photographed by a spacecraft in the Mercury exploration project “BepiColombo” (provided by the European Space Agency, AP = joint)

[Paris joint]On the 2nd, the European Space Agency (ESA) is collaborating with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on the Mercury exploration project “BepiColombo” when the in-flight spacecraft approaches Mercury for the first time. The image of was announced.

In BepiColombo, which explores Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun in the solar system, two spacecraft developed by Japan and Europe were launched by rocket in 2018. The spacecraft orbits the Sun many times, slowly slowing down and approaching Mercury. This time, on the morning of the 2nd of Japan time, we temporarily approached about 200 km from Mercury. Many craters can be seen in the image.

The spacecraft will continue to fly and will enter Mercury’s orbit in 25 years.