far, far away
We’re one step closer to orbiting the closest planet to the Sun.
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Mercury may be the least-explored planet in the inner Solar System, but the ongoing BepiColombo mission is creeping ever closer to the neighbor in our cosmic backyard.
The goal of the joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is for BepiColombo to orbit Mercury by 2025.
In the most recent flyby, BepiColombo got within 200 km (124.3 miles) of Mercury’s surface during its closest approach.
The latest zip past Mercury captured stunning views of the planet’s craterous surface, including some significant landmarks.
Here are 6 new views of Mercury from the flyby:
4. From the viewpoint of BepiColombo’s second monitoring camera, Mercury appears to float further and further away.
1. Goodbye, Mercury — BepiColombo will fly by again in 2023.