Saturday, October 20, 2018

BepiColombo Mercury Mission Liftoff | European Space Agency

A Joint European-Japanese Mission to Explore Planet Mercury
The BepiColombo spacercraft lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane 5 rocket at 01:45 GMT on October 20, 2018.

BepiColombo is a joint endeavor between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). It is the first European mission to Mercury, the smallest and least explored planet in the inner Solar System, and the first to send two spacecraft to make complementary measurements of the planet and its dynamic environment at the same time.

“Launching BepiColombo is a huge milestone for ESA and JAXA, and there will be many great successes to come,” says Jan Wörner, ESA Director General.

“Beyond completing the challenging journey, this mission will return a huge bounty of science. It is thanks to the international collaboration and the decades of efforts and expertise of everyone involved in the design and building of this incredible machine, that we are now on our way to investigating planet Mercury’s mysteries.”

Learn more about Bepi Colombo:

ESA is Europe's gateway to space. Our mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)/Arianespace
Duration: 1 minute, 44 seconds
Release Date: October 19, 2018

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