BepiColombo Glimpses its Destiny — Mercury

James Maynard
Oct 2 · 4 min read

BepiColombo passes Mercury on its way to explore… Mercury. Here’s what’s happening!

The BepiColombo spacecraft arriving at Mercury in 2025. The Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) is seen on the left, while JAXA’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) is pictured on the right side of this visualization. Image credit: The Cosmic Companion / NASA

On 1 October, racing just 200 kilometers (125 miles) above the surface of Mercury, the BepiColombo spacecraft paid its first visit to the innermost planet in our solar system.

This is the third major mission to Mercury, following Mariner 10 in 1974–75, and NASA’s Messenger…