Call for media: Last chance to view ESA's Mercury Explorer BepiColombo
14 June 2017Media representatives are invited to a briefing on BepiColombo, ESA and JAXA's joint mission to Mercury, and to view the spacecraft before it leaves for Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, for launch next year.
Mercury is the least explored planet of the inner Solar System. BepiColombo is set to follow up on many of the intriguing results of NASA's Messenger mission, probing deeper into Mercury's mysteries than ever before.
It will examine the peculiarities of its internal structure and magnetic field generation, and how it interacts with the Sun and solar wind. It will investigate surface features and chemistry, such as the ice in permanently shadowed craters at the poles. The mission's science will help revolutionise our understanding of the formation of our Solar System, and in the evolution of planets close to their parent stars.
To achieve these goals, ESA and JAXA will deliver two spacecraft into complementary orbits around the planet. The spacecraft will make the seven-year journey to Mercury together, carried by a transfer module.
The complete spacecraft stack is currently undergoing final testing in its launch configuration, and will be available for viewing on 6 July as part of a dedicated briefing organised by ESA, JAXA, Airbus and Thales Alenia at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
The spacecraft will leave Europe in March next year ahead of its scheduled October 2018 launch from Kourou.
The media briefing will provide an overview of the project and will highlight the scientific gain that will ultimately come from this mission.
There will be ample opportunities for interviews with space experts and for taking photos and videos of the spacecraft in the cleanroom.
For accreditation, media can register at:
For further information, please contact:
ESA Media Relations Office
Last Update: 15 June 2017For further information please contact: SciTech.firstname.lastname@example.org
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