BepiColombo is due to launch on Saturday on an Ariane 5 rocket. The mission will get to Mercury in 2025 helping us learn a lot more about the planet that is the closest to the Sun.
A really quick round up of the week in space including a black hole swallowing a star, the Mars dust storm and Hayabusa’s journey to Ryugu.
Hayabusa2 is about to have a close up and personal experience with the asteroid Ryugu. In this mission the spacecraft will collect a bit of the asteroid and return to Earth.
The Japanese and Russia are the only non-US nations currently routinely sending cargo to the ISS. ESA did a few missions with the ATV.
The week in space includes the launch of the Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket, the planned helicopter for Mars and the BepiColombo mission is getting closer to launch.
Venus doesn’t capture a lot of press time as it’s often overshadowed by the more hospitable Mars and the more photogenic planets of Saturn and Jupiter. It’s not all quiet around Venus, as JAXA has Akatsuki orbiting Earth’s twin and sending back some great images and building our understanding of Venus.
The rocket launch scheduled from Earth for the rest of December, if all goes well.