Watch Venus glide by in this serene video from the BepiColombo spacecraft's flyby - Space.com
Oct 17, 2020 46 secs

A European-Japanese spacecraft just flew by Venus on its long, winding road to Mercury, snapping some stellar views along the way. .

But to get there, it must first complete a series of nine gravity-assist flybys  —one of Earth, two of Venus and six of Mercury — before finally entering orbit around the solar system's innermost planet.

BepiColombo zoomed by Earth on April 10 and cruised past Venus for the first time at 11:58 p.m.

Related: BepiColombo spacecraft swings past Venus on long road to Mercury!

As BepiColombo swooped within a mere 6,660 miles (10,720 kilometers) of the planet, the three cameras onboard the probe's Mercury Transfer Module captured some spectacular images.

"With each flyby completed, we get a step closer to answering some of these perplexing questions about mysterious planet Mercury," European Space Agency BepiColombo Project Scientist Johannes Benkhoff said in an ESA statement.

Get breaking space news and the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more


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