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BepiColombo's first close-up pictures of Mercury's surface hint at answers to the planet's secrets

By David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences, The Open University
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The BepiColombo spacecraft – a joint project by the European and Japanese space agencies – swung by its destination planet Mercury in the early hours of October 2 2021. Passing within just 200km of the surface of Mercury, it sent back some spectacular pictures.

For those of us who have worked for a decade or more on this mission, there could hardly…

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