BepiColombo sunshield at the Spaceport
The Magnetospheric Orbiter Sunshield and Interface Structure (MOSIF) that will protect the Japanese Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) of the ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission en route to Mercury, pictured here during launch preparations at Europe's Spaceport. In the background, to the right, stands the European Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO).
BepiColombo is Europe's first mission to Mercury, due to launch this year on a journey to the smallest and least explored terrestrial planet in the inner Solar System. When it arrives at Mercury in late 2025, it will endure temperatures in excess of 350 °C.