Take a look at the essential concepts, terms, and phenomena from the static and current parts of the UPSC-CSE.
Subject: Science (space)
Why in news?
— The BepiColombo mission captured a beautiful image of Mercury’s crater-marked surface as the spacecraft flew close to the planet for a gravity assist maneuver.
What is BepiColombo?
— It is Europe’s first mission to Mercury. It was launched on 20 October 2018.
— It is on a seven-year journey to the smallest and least explored terrestrial planet in our Solar System.
— When it arrives at Mercury in late 2025, it will endure temperatures in excess of 350 °C and gather data during its one-year nominal mission, with a possible one-year extension.
— The mission comprises two spacecraft: the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (Mio).
— BepiColombo is a joint mission between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), executed under ESA leadership.
Why is BepiColombo mission challenging?
Mercury’s closeness to the Sun makes the mission very challenging. It is difficult for a spacecraft to reach the planet and survive in harsh environmental conditions.
What have been the past missions to Mercury?
— Mariner 10 – NASA Flyby Mission to Venus and Mercury (1973)
— MESSENGER – NASA Orbiter to Mercury (2004)
Point to ponder: Where do India and China stand in terms of space strategy?
MCQ (attempt after reading this article)
Which of the following statements is incorrect?
a) BepiColombo is a joint mission between ESA and JAXA.
b) MESSENGER was the first NASA Flyby Mission to Venus and Mercury.
c) The Mars Perseverance rover mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program.
d) BepiColombo is Europe’s first mission to Mercury.
Answer for the previous MCQ: UPSC Essentials: Case Study of the week- (b)