the-future-now: Mercury appears to be shrinking — so scientists…

the-future-now:

Mercury appears to be shrinking — so scientists are sending a probe there to figure out why

  • Mercury has proven itself to
    be a special planet. Some scientists think it might be shrinking — even
    though it’s already the tiniest member of our solar system — and others
    speculate that it has volcanoes and water ice.
  • Now, a spacecraft called
    BepiColombo is scheduled for a mission to uncover the truth.
  • The BepiColombo spacecraft, the product of a partnership between the European Space Agency and Japan’s JAXA space agency,
    will launch in October 2018 for the third-ever mission to reach
    Mercury.
  • Understanding Mercury has so far been a difficult process,
    since spaceships have to enter the planet’s unusually thin atmosphere
    very slowly to avoid smashing into its surface upon arrival. Read more (7/7/17)

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