BepiColombo at the Spaceport
Overview of the integration activities in the S5 facility of Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, where the ESA-JAXA BepiColombo spacecraft are undergoing launch preparations.
The mission consists of two science orbiters – the Japanese Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) and ESA's Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) – and the Mercury Transfer Module (MTM), which will use solar electric propulsion to take the two orbiters to Mercury, along with gravity assist flybys at Earth, Venus and Mercury itself.
In this view, the two orbiters MMO and MPO stand in the foreground, to the left and to the right, respectively. The MTM is seen in the background to the right, behind the Magnetospheric Orbiter Sunshield and Interface Structure (MOSIF) that will protect the MMO en route to Mercury.
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.