Giuseppe Colombo (Padua, October 2, 1920 – Padua, February 20, 1984), better known by his nickname Bepi Colombo, was an Italian scientist, mathematician and engineer at the University of Padua, Italy.
- Colombo studied the planet Mercury, and it was his calculations on how to get a spacecraft into a resonant orbit with Mercury with multiple fly-bys , which also known as Gravity Assist maneuvers or Gravitational Slingshots . Due to his idea, NASA re-planned the flight orbit of the Mariner 10 spaceship , which in that way, it orbited Mercury three times instead of once only .That way of flight eventually led to the success of the Mariner 10 mission, and gave the space community outstanding amount of data about the planet .
- Colombo also explained the spin-orbit resonance in Mercury's orbit, showing that it rotates three times for every two orbits around the sun.
- Colombo invented tethers for tying satellites together.
- Colombo participated in the planning of Giotto, the European Space Agency's mission to Halley's Comet, but died before the spacecraft was launched.
- The Giuseppe Colombo Centre for Space Geodesy in Matera, Italy.
- ESA awards a 'Colombo fellowship' each year to a European scientist working in the field of astronautics
several astronomical objects and spaceships are named after to honor him :
- The ESA mission to Mercury, which launched at 1:45:28 UTC on 20 October 2018, is named BepiColombo.
- The Colombo Gap in Saturn's rings .
- The asteroid 10387 Bepicolombo
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