Dormstad – The ISA-controlled “BabyColombo” probe in Darmstadt made its maiden flight around its future destination Mercury early Saturday morning.
Elsa Montagnon, mission head of the ESA control center, said: “This is a great success for us since our first encounter with Mercury.
At the same time, they were about 56 million km from the sun – about 40 percent of the distance between the earth and the sun. According to the European space agency ISA, it was the first of a total of six flying birds in the last study of Mercury.
“BepiColombo” will have to fly past the planets several times over its billions of kilometers and many years of travel to slowly make its final orbit around Mercury.
According to its own data, ISA currently controls 25 satellites, 22 from the control center at Dormstadt 22. The “BabyColombo” space probe was launched in October 2018 on its seven-year journey to the closest Mercury to the Sun.
With two satellites on deck, Mercury is set to explore the surface and magnetic field from December 2025. The European-Japanese joint venture project at a total cost of about 2 billion euros will help to understand the origin of the solar system.
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