BepiColombo - Exploring Mercury

Europe's first mission to Mercury

Welcome to ESA's website for the BepiColombo scientific community and the BepiColombo Science Ground Segment. The target audience for this site is scientists and engineers involved in the BepiColombo mission. ESA pages for the general public interested in the BepiColombo mission can be found here .


BepiColombo gets settled in to its temporary home base at Europe’s Spaceport to prepare for launch to Mercury.

The three modules of the ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission to Mercury are pictured here shortly after being unpacked at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Centre stage is the eight-sided Japanese module, the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), with its white high-gain antenna seen at the top of the module, tilted upward; the antenna will be used to communicate with ground-stations on Earth. To the right is ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) – currently without its protective insulation blankets. Together the two science orbiters will conduct the most detailed scientific investigation of Mercury and its environment than ever before achieved.

Following the unpacking of the spacecraft at the Spaceport, each module was examined thoroughly to check that they did not suffer any damage during the transport from Europe to South America, and that everything remains aligned and functioning correctly.

For more images of the launch preparations at Kourou visit the BepiColombo image gallery.


While BepiColombo is getting ready in Kourou, in Madrid (at ESAC) the BepiColombo MPO Instrument teams and the OGS met with the SGS for the DHAWG & SOWG meetings (many thanks to all for your attendance: we missed you Johannes!).





Launch:  20 October 2018 - 3:45 (Paris time)

Time till launch: