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.



BepiColombo's first tastes of Mercury science
15 October 2021

The magnetic and particle environment around Mercury was sampled by BepiColombo for the first time during the mission's close flyby of the planet at 199 km on 1-2 October 2021, while the huge gravitational pull of the planet was felt by its accelerometers.

BepiColombo's first views of Mercury
2 October 2021

The ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission has captured its first views of its destination planet Mercury as it swooped past in a close gravity assist flyby last night.

BepiColombo flies by Venus en route to Mercury
15 October 2020

The ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission has completed the first of two Venus flybys needed to set it on course with the Solar System's innermost planet, Mercury.

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.

Spotlight On ...

Spotlight On ...

Meeting Mercury
4 October 2021

A beautiful sequence of 53 images taken by the monitoring cameras on board the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission as the spacecraft made its first close flyby of its destination planet Mercury on 1 October 2021.

BepiColombo points to Venus
15 October 2020

A sequence of images taken by one of the monitoring cameras on board the European-Japanese BepiColombo mission to Mercury, as the spacecraft slewed to point towards Venus ahead of its 15 October flyby.

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.

Views of Earth from BepiColombo's flyby
16 April 2020

A compilation of about 200 images collected by the joint European-Japanese mission BepiColombo during its first – and only – flyby of Earth on 10 April 2020, a manoeuvre needed to adjust its trajectory en route to its destination, Mercury.

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. 

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.
24-Jul-2024 23:55 UT

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