BepiColombo: Exploring Mercury with OHB Italia and ESA

On 10th April 2020 at 6.25a.m. (CEST), the BepiColombo spacecraft (launched on 20th October 2018 from Kourou in French Guyana) will approach the Earth at the distance of only 12,700 km. It will then swing-by the Earth and get a pull towards the inner Solar System, followed by a Venus swing-by on 15th October 2020. This is the last time to see the spacecraft from Earth, then it will head deeper into the inner Solar System.

OHB Italia is on board with two of BepiColombo 11 instruments: SERENA (Search for Exospheric Refilling and Emitted Natural Abundaces) with the target to analyse the composition, origin and dynamics of Mercury’s exosphere and magnetosphere – ELENA (Emitted Low-Energy Neutral Atoms) a neutral particle camera that investigates neutral gases escaping from the surface of Mercury, their dynamics and the processes responsible for such a population.

The end of BepiColombo cruise phase will end on November 2025 after reaching Mercury planet.