Giuseppe Colombo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Giuseppe "Bepi" Colombo (Padua, October 2, 1920 – Padua, February 20, 1984) was an Italian scientist, mathematician and engineer at the University of Padua, Italy.

Mercury[edit]

Colombo studied the planet Mercury, and it was his calculations which showed how to get a spacecraft into a solar orbit which would encounter Mercury multiple times, using a gravity assist maneuver with Venus. Due to this idea, NASA was able to have the Mariner 10 accomplish three fly-bys of Mercury instead of one.[1] Mariner 10 was the first [2] spacecraft to use gravity assist. Since then, the technique has become common.

Colombo also explained the spin-orbit resonance in Mercury's orbit, showing that it rotates three times for every two orbits around the sun.

Saturn's rings[edit]

Colombo also made significant contributions to the study of Saturn's rings, mostly using ground-based observations in the era before space exploration reached the outer solar system.

Other contributions[edit]

Legacy[edit]

Several astronomical objects and spaceships are named after to honor him:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Giuseppe Bepi Colombo Grandfather of the fly-by". Welcome to ESA. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Mariner 10". 30 November 2010. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  3. ^ http://www.esa.int/export/esaCP/Pr_40_1999_p_EN.html ESA Press Release: ESA's Mercury mission named BepiColombo in honour of a space pioneer]

External links[edit]