Mer­cury Plan­e­tary Or­biter (MPO): ESA’s in­stru­men­tal stew­ard

All About Space - - User Manual | Bepicolombo -

It’s hard to pin down one spe­cific in­stru­ment from the 16 that con­sti­tute BepiColombo, as each in­stru­ment is as im­por­tant as the next. How­ever, the ESA’s MPO or­biter holds 11 in­stru­ments that can un­lock the se­crets of Mer­cury’s elu­sive sur­face and com­po­si­tion.

With im­agers, spec­tro­graphs and other high­tech equip­ment, the MPO will un­doubt­edly show sci­en­tists Mer­cury’s past and its evo­lu­tion into its cur­rent state, from the core to the mag­ne­to­sphere. By us­ing in­stru­ments that are tuned to look at Mer­cury in wave­lengths un­per­ceiv­able to the hu­man eye, the na­ture of Mer­cury will be ex­plored af­ter BepiColombo’s ar­rival.

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