Thanks to a Euro-Japanese union, it will be possible to investigate more of the closest planet to the Sun
For the first time, we can know more about Mercury. To achieve this success, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Agency for Aerospace Exploration (Jaxa) joined together and decided to launch the BepiColombo space mission, in honor of Professor Giuseppe (Bepi) Colombo who was the first to realize that there was an orbital resonance in Mercury.
The ship, which took off on October 20, is composed of two probes. One will enter the orbit near the planet (called Mercury Planetary Orbiter and supplied by the European Space Agency), while the other, supplied by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, will orbit further. Thus, the latter will measure the magnetic field of Mercury, as stated by the National Public Radio.
For these probes, the road to reach this small planet will be difficult, because as stated 20minutes "Mercury temperatures oscillate between 180 degrees below zero and 430 and solar winds reach 400 kilometers per second." In addition, they will have to travel more than 70 million kilometers before reaching Mercury.
However, to reach that planet, and as Gizmodo says, "BepiColombo will pass through the Earth once, through Venus twice and through Mercury six times before reaching the exact orientation to perform its tasks." The mission will take around 7 years to enter orbit. When that happens the probes will separate and begin to investigate more about the planet.
This will be the first mission that is not carried out by the United States. Well, two missions launched by that country had been able to have a basic knowledge about that planet. As stated by Clarin the space probe "Mariner 10 flew over and offered his first close-up photographs between 1974 and 1975". In addition, the same media claimed that the space probe "Messenger (launched in 2004) flew over in 2008 and 2009 and was the first to orbit it, between 2011 and 2015", before NASA ended the mission and collided against Mercury
Nuevas imágenes de #BepiColombo @ESA_MTM ha capturado una secuencia de 20 imágenes de la rotación de 54 grados de sus paneles solares. Más detalles en: https://t.co/YiVcye9ubk @esascience pic.twitter.com/wj5DkLjAXD— ESA España (@esa_es) 29 de octubre de 2018
Added to this, several space missions have been launched throughout this year. Such is the case of the Hayabusa2 mission, which claims to know the origin of the universe through the exploration of an asteroid, cataloged as type C, called Ryugu. It is expected that the probes launched for that mission, collect samples of the asteroid's soil to be able to investigate more about the emergence of the solar system and the universe.
Perhaps you are interested in reading: We could know the origin of the solar system! The Hayabusa2 mission was a success
And the Latin American panorama?
There is no doubt that countries such as Argentina, Chile, and Brazil have launched several missions, from communication satellites to minisatellites that allow studying magnetic phenomena of the Earth, as is the case of the last mentioned country.
Even so, recently Colombia and Ecuador announced a joint mission, which would be the first Latin American, in which the Moon will be explored. Thus, and as indicated by the newspaper La Vanguardia, "at the 69th International Congress of Astronautics, the Ecuadorian Civil Space Agency (EXA) and the Space Agency of Colombia (AEC) signed an agreement with the company Astrobotic to start a campaign of lunar exploration." The Lander Peregrine will be used for this project. A "peregrin" who "delivers accurate and safe payloads to the lunar orbit and the lunar surface in each mission," as stated on the Astrobotics website.
Likewise and according to Immediate Ecuador, "During the first mission of Peregrine, EXA and AEC will develop as a team a small demonstration payload of satellite technology for the deployment in the lunar orbit. Subsequently, EXA and AEC will conduct a follow-up of their first lunar satellite with future payloads for exploration of the lunar surface in the subsequent Peregrine missions."
This mission marks a great advance, within the framework of space exploration within Latin America.
The newly announced Colombo-Ecuadorian Lunar Program seems to be a lot more concrete, albeit modest, than the European-US #MoonVillage concept... First test mission of the satellite laser communication launches this November! #IAC2018 pic.twitter.com/sxOknZWmpi— Remco Timmermans (@timmermansr) 5 de octubre de 2018
LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz
Translated from "BepiColombo: La misión espacial con la que conoceríamos más de Mercurio"
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