European-Japanese probe began seven-year journey to Mercury


Europees-Japanse sonde begonnen aan zeven jaar lange reis naar Mercurius

The European-Japanese probe BepiColombo is Saturday morning, with success on the way out to Mercury. That have the relevant space provided.

BepiColombo was carried by an Ariane 5 rocket, that Saturday morning at 3.45 pm (Belgian time) was launched from the European ruimtevaartbasis in Kourou, French Guiana. About a half hour later, the 4.1 tonne probe to separate from the rocket, a journey of about 9 billion kilometers to start.

Mercury must be in december 2025 can be achieved. On the way to that planet will be the unmanned probe also five scheervluchten along other planets, including our own, in order to speed to win.

BepiColombo is in fact a double probe, with a total of sixteen instruments. Once the two spacecraft from each other, separation for a period of one to two years apart around Mercury to rotate. That mission is to allow scientists to learn more about the structure and the composition of the closest to the sun standing object. That knowledge can also provide information about the origin and evolution of our solar system.

BepiColombo, named after the Italian scientist Giuseppe ‘Beppi’ Colombo (1920-1984), also has a Belgian contribution. The Royal Observatory of Belgium is involved in the development of various instruments, such as the laser altimeter. The observatory hopes especially to get to know more about the rotation, tides and the internal structure of Mercury.