Mercury-bound spacecraft buzzes Earth

BepiColombo beams back black-and-white photos of Earth during a flyby on its seven-year journey to Mercury.


World News

April 10, 2020 - 1:31 PM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A Mercury-bound spacecraft swooped past Earth on Friday, tweaking its roundabout path to the solar system’s smallest and innermost planet. 

Launched 1½ years ago, Europe and Japan’s BepiColombo spacecraft passed within 8,000 miles of Earth. The closest approach occurred over the South Atlantic, with telescopes in Chile catching a glimpse of the speeding spacecraft. 

The gravity tug from Earth slowed BepiColombo and put it on a course closer to the sun. 

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