Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
BepiColombo's launch was nominal -- the best thing any launch can be. Following launch, the spacecraft documented successful solar array and antenna deployments with self-portraits.
I’m thrilled to be anticipating the beginning of a new mission to Mercury. Here's a timeline for BepiColombo's planned launch on 20 October (19 October in the U.S.).
With my first issue of The Planetary Report as editor, I am taking the magazine open-access. Return to Mercury features articles by Elsa Montagnon on BepiColombo and by Long Xiao on the Chang'e-4 and -5 landers.
Elsa Montagnon details the challenges of delivering BepiColombo’s two spacecraft from Earth to Mercury.
A Mercury meeting held May 1-3 summarized the current and future science of the innermost planet. Emily Lakdawalla was there and shares her notes.
Three launches to the Moon and one each to Mercury and Mars; two arrivals at near-Earth asteroids; and an approach to an encounter with a distant Kuiper belt object are highlights we anticipate in 2018.
Next year, a pair of probes head to Mercury to answer outstanding questions about our innermost planet, as well as the formation of the solar system.
2015 has seen few deep-space-craft launches, but 2016 is shaping up to be a banner year with three launches, followed quickly by a fourth in early 2017. All of the missions under development have reported significant milestones recently.
At last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, the MESSENGER team held a press briefing to share results from the recent few months of incredibly low-altitude flight over Mercury's surface. The mission will last only about five weeks more.
The two spacecraft currently orbiting the two innermost planets are both flying low in their orbits in the final phases of their missions. MESSENGER just performed a rocket burn to raise its orbit slightly, while Venus Express did the opposite.
I've been fascinated by Mercury's hollows ever since MESSENGER discovered them. Two recent papers look at where they are found to try to figure out how they form.
ESA announced this morning that the launch of their BepiColombo mission, a cooperative effort with JAXA, has been delayed from its originally planned July 2014 to the backup launch window in August 2015.