US-European Solar Orbiter Spacecraft Makes Venus Flyby - ESA
Solar Orbiter spacecraft, a joint project by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, has completed its second flyby of Venus in a first-of-its-kind double Venus flyby, the ESA said on Monday
PARIS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 09th August, 2021) Solar Orbiter spacecraft, a joint project by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, has completed its second flyby of Venus in a first-of-its-kind double Venus flyby, the ESA said on Monday.
"@ESASolarOrbiter completed its second #VenusFlyby before breakfast. Next up: @bepicolombo," the ESA wrote on Twitter.
The flyby was made at 04:42 GMT with a closest approach to Venus of 7,995 kilometers (4967.86 miles). The second flight in the first double Venus flyby will be conducted on Tuesday by BepiColombo, a partnership between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), with a 550 kilometer approach.
Solar Orbiter is a space mission aimed at performing close-up observations of the Sun polar regions, inner heliosphere and Sun storms.
The spacecraft is equipped with 10 instruments, nine of which are supplied by ESA and one by NASA. The first images of the polar regions of the Sun, obtained by Solar Orbiter, may contribute considerably to the scientific knowledge about the Sun, the developers said.
Neither of the spacecraft will be able to take high-resolution images of Venus as cameras aboard Solar Orbiter must remain facing the Sun, and the main camera aboard BepiColombo will be shielded by the transfer module that will then separate and deliver two planetary orbiters to Mercury. However, two of BepiColombo's three monitoring cameras will provide black-and-white snapshots in 1024 x 1024 pixel resolution, though the images will be partly obscured by equipment.