TOKYO (AP) ̵ 1; European and Japanese space organizations said an Ariane 5 rocket successfully lifted a spacecraft carrying two…
TOKYO (AP) ̵
1; European and Japanese space organizations said an Ariane 5 rocket successfully lifted a spacecraft carrying two probes in a bout Saturday for a joint mission to Mercury, the nearest planet to the sun.
The European Space Agency and the Japanese Space Research Agency said unmanned BepiColombo spacecraft was successfully separated and sent into a runway from French Guiana as planned to commence a seven-year trip to Mercury.
They said the spacecraft, named after Italian scientist Giuseppe “Bepi” Colombo, was in circulation and sent the first signal after the liftoff.
ESA says that 1.3 billion euros (1.5 billion dollars) is one of the most challenging in its history. The extreme temperatures of the mercury, the sun’s intense gravity pressure and blowing solar radiation make it hell.
BepiColombo Spacecraft must follow an elliptical road involving a fly of Earth, two of Venus and six of Mercury itself so it can slow down before reaching its destination in December 2025.
When it comes, BepiColombo will release two probes – Bepi and Mio – which independently investigate the surface area and magnetic field of mercury. The probes are designed to handle temperatures ranging from 430 degrees (806 F) on the side to the sun and -180 degrees (-292 F) in mercury’s shadow.
The ESA-developed Bepi will work in Mercury’s internal orbit and JAXA’s Mio will be in the outer circulation to collect data that would reveal the planet’s internal structure, its surface and geological evolution.
Researchers hope to build on the insights from NASA’s Messenger probe, which ended its mission in 2015 after a four-year mercury nucleus. The only other spacecraft to visit Mercury was NASA’s navy 10 who flew past the planet in the mid-1970s.
Mercury, which is only slightly larger than Earth’s moon, has a massive iron core about which little is known. Researchers also hope to learn more about the solar system’s formation from the data collected by the BepiColombo mission.
“In addition to the challenging journey, this mission is to return to a large amount of science,” said Jan Wörner, ESA Director General, in a statement.
JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa, who succeeded in the project, said: “We have great expectation that the following detailed observations of mercury will help us better understand the planet’s environment and ultimately the rise of the solar system including the earth.”  It is the second most recent cooperation between Europeans and Japan Exploration Agency. JAXA’s Hayabusa2 probe released a German-French robber on asteroid Ryugu earlier this month.
Jordans reported from Berlin.