Europe, Japan send spacecraft on 7-year journey to Mercury

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) first mission to Mercury blasts off with a trio of craft heading to the planet closest to the Sun. (AFP)
Updated 20 October 2018
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Europe, Japan send spacecraft on 7-year journey to Mercury

  • Once the spacecraft arrives in late 2025, it will release two probes that will independently investigate the planet

TOKYO: European and Japanese space agencies say an Ariane 5 rocket has successfully lifted a spacecraft into orbit for a joint mission to Mercury, the closest planet to the sun.
The European Space Agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency say the BepiColombo spacecraft successfully separated and was sent into orbit from French Guiana early Saturday to begin a seven-year journey to Mercury.
The mission is complicated by the intense gravity pull of the sun, forcing the spacecraft to take an elliptical path that involves two fly-bys of Venus and six of Mercury itself.
Once the spacecraft arrives in late 2025, it will release two probes that will independently investigate the surface and magnetic field of Mercury.


Dancing queen? Theresa May boogies to Abba in final days as British PM

Updated 15 July 2019
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Dancing queen? Theresa May boogies to Abba in final days as British PM

  • May, whose premiership was riven by crises over Brexit and who was cast as robotic by opponents, occasionally sought to bring some humor to the job
  • She last year danced with school children in South Africa and then grooved onto stage at the Conservative Party conference to “Dancing Queen”

LONDON: Theresa May boogied away one of her last weekends as British prime minister, showing off some of her famously awkward dance moves to Abba hits such as “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia” at a festival.
In a video clip, she is shown dancing at the Henley Festival as her husband and other men in black tie swing their arms to the tunes.
May, whose premiership was riven by crises over Brexit and who was cast as robotic by opponents, occasionally sought to bring some humor to the job by performing dances in public.
She last year danced with school children in South Africa and then grooved onto stage at the Conservative Party conference to “Dancing Queen” — exhibiting a puzzling robotic hand movement that went viral on social media.