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  • Moon in near infrared

    Moon in near infrared

    Credit: NASA/JPL  |  Download
    These four images of the Moon were created using infrared image data acquired in December 1992 during the flyby of the Earth-Moon system conducted by NASA's Galileo spacecraft. They were acquired with the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS). The view is directed towards the Moon's North Pole; the coloured areas show the northern hemisphere of the Earth-facing side of the Moon. The spectral channels of the instrument ranged from visible light to near-infrared wavelengths (5.2 micrometres). The different (false) colours give information about the geochemical and mineralogical composition of the surface. The MERTIS spectrometer on board ESA's BepiColombo Mercury mission will now be the first to image Earth's satellite with two sensors, covering wavelengths down to the thermal infrared – between 7 and 14 micrometres and 7 and 40 micrometres, respectively, as it flies past the Earth and the Moon.
  • Giuseppe 'Bepi' Colombo (1920-1984)

    Giuseppe 'Bepi' Colombo (1920-1984)

    Credit: ESA  |  Download
    The Italian engineer and mathematician Giuseppe 'Bepi' Colombo is regarded as the inventor of gravity assist manoeuvres, more commonly referred to as planetary flybys. Put simply, when a spacecraft passes close to a planet, its speed and trajectory can be altered without the expenditure of propellant. Planetary flyby manoeuvres were first used on the NASA Mariner 10 mission, to enable two more close flybys after the first visit to Mercury. The calculations were made in 1970 by Colombo, a professor at the university of his hometown Padua.
  • MERTIS spectrometer

    MERTIS spectrometer

    The Mercury Radiometer and Thermal Infrared Spectrometer (MERTIS) instrument combines an imaging spectrometer with a radiometer, which is used for determining irradiance. The instrument has dimensions of only 18 by 18 by 13 centimetres and a mass of 3.3 kilograms; its power consumption is very low. The MERTIS sensors are unique – the imaging channel uses an uncooled microbolometer to measure infrared radiation, the first to be qualified for space in Europe. MERTIS will be used to investigate the mineralogical composition of Mercury’s surface, as well as rock-forming minerals. At the same time, the integrated radiometer will measure temperature and determine thermal conductivity. The scientists hope that the data will provide insights into the formation and development of Mercury.
  • Earth as a pivot

    Earth as a pivot

    Credit: DLR, based on an ESA model  |  Download
    Schematic representation of BepiColombo's Earth flyby on 10 April 2020. The Moon's orbit is shown as a dotted line. At 02:27 on 10 April (all times CEST) [1], BepiColombo will pass through the bow shock of Earth's magnetic field, a transition zone between the magnetic field and space. At 03:14 [2], the spacecraft will cross the magnetopause, the boundary between space and the plasma surrounding Earth. At 03:44 [3], BepiColombo will still be nine Earth radii away, and will reach a distance of eight Earth radii at 04:05 (4). At 04:50 [5] it will enter Earth's magnetic field at a distance of six Earth radii. At 06:25:23 [6], BepiColombo will reach its point of closest approach, 12,677 kilometres from Earth. It will then begin its departure, leaving the magnetic field at 08:00 [7], passing eight Earth radii at 08:44 [8], and nine Earth radii at 09:06 [9]. The spacecraft will then traverse the magnetopause [10] and BepiColombo will leave the magnetically influenced zone around Earth at 00:08 on 11 April [11].
  • Past Earth and on its way to Venus

    Past Earth and on its way to Venus

    Credit: ESA/ATG medialab  |  Download
    On 10 April 2020, the ESA BepiColombo spacecraft will pass Earth at a distance of 12,677 kilometres and embark on its journey towards the inner Solar System and its final destination, Mercury. This flyby, or gravity assist manoeuvre, will be used to slow down the spacecraft without the need to expend propellant and also to change the plane of its trajectory to bring it closer to the orbit of Venus. BepiColombo will conduct two Venus flybys before approaching Mercury. The Venus flybys will take place on 16 October 2020 and 11 August 2021.
  • 3D printer with respiratory mask

    3D printer with respiratory mask

    Respiratory masks can be produced in this 3D printer.
  • 3D printer with valves for ventilators

    3D printer with valves for ventilators

    Valves for ventilators have been successfully produced in this 3D printer.
  • A virtual aircraft cabin

    A virtual aircraft cabin

    A virtual aircraft cabin – it links geometry and all of the data together to visualise and assess innovative cabin designs.

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