The European-Japanese mission BepiColombo will approach Venus for the first time in a week and will try to find traces of phosphine, a gas of presumably biological origin, in the lower layers of its atmosphere.
This rapprochement with Venus has become especially interesting thanks to the recent news of the discovery of phosphine in the cloudy layer of this planet’s atmosphere. We will try to use the MERTIS tool to find the molecules of this gas. The chances of this are rather illusory, but nothing prevents us from trying to do it.
Johannes Benckhoff, scientific director of the BepiColombo project
As Benckhoff noted, on October 15, the BepiColombo probe will approach Venus for the first time for a gravitational maneuver that will put it on a rendezvous course with Mercury.
During this procedure, scientists plan to turn on and test the operation of some of the mission’s instruments – as happened in April 2020, when the Euro-Japanese mission approached the Earth and the Moon.
During the approach to Venus, scientists plan not only to study the composition and properties of its atmosphere but also try to find traces of the so-called oxygen corona of the planet, which was discovered by the instruments of the Soviet apparatus “Venera-11” and the American probe “Pioneer-Venus” in the late 1970s years. Subsequent missions did not confirm its existence, which is why planetary scientists still continue to argue.