Astronomers Want New Missions Dedicated For Mercury Exploration

The innermost and smallest planet of our solar system —Mercury— is not yet explored thoroughly in so many years of space researches. Mercury has always been attracting the researchers with its mysterious facts. Though being nearest to the Sun, the planet is not that hotter as the Venus. Surprisingly, the day on Mercury lasts for long but just 88 Earth days are enough to consider as a complete year on Mercury.

This terrestrial and moonless planet has Earth’s moon-like rocky body and an astonishing combination of 3-layered cores. Researchers want to explore three of them —an outermost solid core made up of iron sulfide, a deeper core layer in liquid form and an inner core made up of massive solid material— thoroughly. The planet also needed to be studied with its strange magnetic field characteristics. The planet has always been an odd thing due to its unrevealed and mysterious chemistry.

According to Dr. Paul Byrne—planetary geologist—Mercury is mostly referred as an unpredictable oddball.

As per the reports, NASA and its corresponding resources are mostly dedicated for the closer study of the Moon and Mars, whereas the planets such as Venus, Uranus, Neptune and Mercury are not that much examined yet.

In 2015, NASA had carried out a mission named ‘MESSENGER’, which gathered a lot of information about Mercury, but failed to gain more about compositions and chemistries on Mercury, keeping researchers unanswered.

In October 2018, as a leading organization, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched two spacecrafts named as the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) and the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO)—which are expected to enter Mercury’s orbit in 2025— as a part of joint mission ‘BepiColombo’ along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The mission is said to be aimed for solving mysteries raised by ‘MESSENGER.’

The researchers are hoping for NASA getting convinced to launch a rover to Mercury by 2030 to study the planet on surface-level.

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