ESA Science & Technology - News Archive
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.
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.
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.
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.