Two spacecraft flew around Venus at once: this is how it looks

Two spacecraft flew around Venus at once: this is how it looks
Two spacecraft flew around Venus at once: this is how it looks

This week, two space probes flew around Venus at once, performing regular gravitational maneuvers to increase speed during their missions.

Unfortunately, both missions of the European Space Agency (ESA) Solar Orbiter, ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) BepiColombo are not aimed at studying Venus, however, both spacecraft recorded a flight around the planet with their auxiliary cameras.

The Solar Orbiter flew 7995 kilometers from the surface of Venus. Its main camera is constantly facing the Sun, so the device only recorded a flight around Venus at high speed in black and white format.

BepiColombo is aimed at studying Mercury, so its main camera will open when the device approaches this planet. Nevertheless, this probe also captured the approach to Venus.

Despite the meager images that both spacecraft transmitted, they will still collect important scientific data about the magnetic and plasma environment of Venus. Researchers estimate that this information will take several months to process.

Both vehicles move one behind the other and are located at a distance of approximately 575,000 kilometers.

The Solar Orbiter mission aims to study the polar regions of the Sun, inaccessible from the Earth and other places of the ecliptic. The device will perform detailed measurements of the inner heliosphere and the incipient solar wind, as well as conduct observations of the polar regions of the Sun, which are difficult to do from Earth.

The BepiColombo mission aims to study Mercury. Within its framework, the second flyby of Venus took place, and the first approach with Mercury will take place on October 2, 2021. The mission should work at least until December 2025.

Among its goals are the study of the composition of the planet's surface, the origin of the magnetic field and interaction with the solar wind, mapping of hydrogen-containing compounds in the polar regions and other scientific tasks.

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