Stunning close-up of Mercury captured by European-Japanese BepiColombo
Science & Technology
6th Jul, 2022
The BepiColombo mission, collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) captured this beautiful image of Mercury’s crater-marked surface as the spacecraft flew close to the planet for a gravity assist manoeuvre.
About BepiColombo mission:
- BepiColombo is Europe's first mission to Mercury. It was launched in October 2018.
- Status: En route to Mercury
- Objective: One of ESA’s cornerstone missions, it will study and understand the composition, geophysics, atmosphere, magnetosphere and history of Mercury, the least explored planet in the inner Solar System.
- Mission: BepiColombo will provide the best understanding of Mercury to date. It consists of two individual orbiters: the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) to map the planet, and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) to investigate its magnetosphere.
- Spacecraft: The BepiColombo mission is based on two scientific spacecraft and one transfer module:
- Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO)
- Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO)
- Mercury Transfer Module (MTM)
- Among several investigations, BepiColombo will make a complete map of Mercury at different wavelengths.
- It will chart the planet's mineralogy and elemental composition, determine whether the interior of the planet is molten or not, and investigate the extent and origin of Mercury’s magnetic field.
- Partnership: BepiColombo is a joint mission between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), executed under ESA leadership.