The European Space Agency (ESA) announced on Monday that the European space probe Solar Orbiter and Bepicolombo, both powered by Portuguese technology and science, will pass close to Venus on August 9 and 10, respectively.
Passing through Venus is a necessary maneuver for both probes to reach their destination.
Solar Orbiter, launched in February 2020, is a sun-observing spacecraft, which involves a partnership between who – which and its counterpart in North America NASA.
BepiColombo, which, strictly speaking, consists of two excavators sent into space in a unit in October 2018, aims to Exploring MercuryOn a joint mission between the European Space Agency and its Japanese counterpart JAXA.
According to the European Space Agency’s statement, the probe’s passage through Venus “provides an unprecedented opportunity for this Studying the environment of Venus from different locations at the same time, and, moreover, at locations not normally visited by a planetary orbiter. ”
The Solar Orbiter’s closest approach – designed to produce the first images of the sun’s poles – to Venus will be at 5:42 am (Lisbon time) on August 9, at an altitude of 7,995 km, while BepiColombo’s maximum approach will be at 2:48 pm on August 10, 550 km.
It will not only be possible to get high-resolution images of Venus Black and white photographs It was captured by two of the three cameras in the BepiColombo unit. The first image is expected to be available on August 10 and most of the rest the next day.
According to the European Space Agency, there may be an opportunity later this week for the solar module to observe the night side of Venus.
The European Space Agency also hopes that data collected from the passage of the Solar Orbiter and BepiColombo through Venus will provide useful information for the EnVision probe mission, which will be launched in 2030 in order to Study of the planet’s atmosphere.
In early October this year, the BepiColombo module that relays the probes will make its first six approaches to Mercury, at an altitude of 200 km.
will be the sensor placed in the orbit of the planet At the end of 2025 in order to study its magnetic field and exosphere (the outer layer of the atmosphere).
Astrophysicist Joanna S. Oliveira is part of the science team for the European Space Agency’s BepiColombo mission and Efacec has built electronic equipment that monitors space radiation during flight and operates one of the module’s sensors.
On November 27, the Solar Orbiter will make its final approach to Earth at an altitude of 460 km. Then, it will regularly pass through Venus to gradually increase the inclination of its path to better observe the solar polar regions, which is necessary to understand the activity cycle of the Sun.
Portuguese companies Critical Software, Active Space Technologies and Deimos Engenharia have been involved in many of the solar probe’s components.
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