image 23-May-2019 11:50:08

The BepiColombo MMO on the base of its transport container

Date: 21 April 2015
Satellite: BepiColombo
Location: ESTEC, Noordwijk, the Netherlands
Copyright: ESA – Anneke Le Floc'h

The BepiColombo Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) pictured in a cleanroom at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. The MMO arrived there from Japan in April 2015.

Pictured here are engineers from JAXA, who are unbolting the spacecraft from a special transport frame, ready to transfer it to its integration stand – visible in the background on the yellow stand. The large disc on top of the spacecraft is the high-gain antenna, which will be used to transmit data back to Earth.

The protoflight model of the Mercury Transfer Module (MTM) is visible in the background. MTM will provide solar-electric propulsion for the spacecraft stack during the journey to Mercury.

BepiColombo is a joint mission by ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), executed under ESA leadership. The MMO is contributed by the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). ESA is building the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO), the MTM and Magnetospheric Orbiter Sunshield and Interface Structure (MOSIF).

Last Update: 27 May 2015

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