Fact Sheet

BepiColombo is Europe's first mission to Mercury. Launched on 20 October 2018, it is on a seven year journey to the smallest and least explored terrestrial planet in our Solar System. When it arrives at Mercury in late 2025, it will endure temperatures in excess of 350 °C and gather data during its one-year nominal mission, with a possible one-year extension. The mission comprises two spacecraft: the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (Mio). BepiColombo is a joint mission between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), executed under ESA leadership.



Earth flyby opens new science opportunities for BepiColombo
30 April 2020

Science instruments aboard the European-Japanese Mercury explorer BepiColombo are in excellent condition to gather high-quality data during the spacecraft's long cruise to Mercury despite not having been designed for this purpose, teams collaborating on the mission learned during the spacecraft's April flyby of Earth.

BepiColombo takes last snaps of Earth en route to Mercury
10 April 2020

The ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission completed its first flyby on 10 April, as the spacecraft came less than 12 700 km from Earth's surface at 06:25 CEST, steering its trajectory towards the final destination, Mercury.

Spot BepiColombo during its 'goodbye flyby'
3 April 2020

On 10 April, BepiColombo will be visible to amateur and professional astronomers during its first – and only – Earth flyby, as the spacecraft makes its way to Mercury, the innermost planet of the Solar System.

ESA to conduct BepiColombo flyby amid coronavirus crisis
30 March 2020

Controllers at ESA's mission control centre are preparing for an Earth gravity-assist flyby of the European-Japanese Mercury explorer BepiColombo. The manoeuvre will be performed amid restrictions ESA has implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Spotlight On ...

Spotlight On ...

Bepi in the sky with stars: photo contest winners announced
30 April 2020

These are the winning entries in the photo competition for amateur astronomers who captured the unique event of the European-Japanese BepiColombo spacecraft's flyby of Earth.

BepiColombo's final glimpses of Earth
11 April 2020

The joint European-Japanese Mercury spacecraft BepiColombo took a series of final glimpses of Earth on 10 and 11 April 2020, as it moved away from our planet after the gravity-assist flyby performed in the early hours of 10 April.

BepiColombo's last close-up of Earth during flyby
10 April 2020

A sequence of images taken by one of the MCAM selfie cameras on board of the European-Japanese Mercury mission BepiColombo as the spacecraft zoomed past the planet during its first and only Earth flyby. 

BepiColombo closing in on Earth ahead of flyby
9 April 2020

A sequence of images taken on 9 April 2020 by the MCAM selfie cameras on board of the European-Japanese Mercury mission BepiColombo as it neared Earth ahead of its gravity-assist flyby manoeuvre.

Spacecraft Testing

Spacecraft Testing

#14: BepiColombo's Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter has arrived at ESTEC
27 May 2015The flight model of the BepiColombo Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter has arrived at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in The Netherlands. Later this year, it will join the Mercury Planetary Orbiter, the Mercury Transfer Module, and the Magnetospheric Orbiter Sunshield and Interface Structure in the spacecraft stack.
#13: BepiColombo integration and functional testing completed at Thales Alenia Space in Turin
21 July 2014Integration and functional testing activities for the protoflight models of the BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter, Mercury Transfer Module, and Magnetospheric Orbiter Sunshield and Interface Structure have now been completed at the Thales Alenia Space facility in Turin, Italy.
#12: BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter Proto-Flight Mechanical and Propulsion Bus undergoes bake-out
5 February 2013The BepiColombo MPO has been baked out in the Phenix thermal vacuum facility at ESTEC, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
26-Sep-2020 02:54 UT

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