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October 16, 2020 - The Kansas City Star

Space probe makes 1st Venus fly-by on way to Mercury

Space probe makes 1st Venus fly-by on way to Mercury
BepiColombo Spacecraft (Illustration)© Photabulous!

A spacecraft bound for Mercury swung by Venus on Thursday, using Earth's neighbor to adjust its course on the way to the solar system’s smallest and innermost planet.

Launched almost two years ago, the European-Japanese probe BepiColombo took a black-and-white snapshot of Venus from a distance of 17,000 kilometers (10,560 miles), with some of its own instruments in the frame.

The fly-by is the second of nine so-called planetary gravity assists that the spacecraft needs for its seven-year trip to Mercury. The first, around Earth, took place in April.

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The Kansas City Star


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