Artist rendition of BepiColombo approaching Mercury.  Credit: ESA/ATG medialab; Mercury: NASA/JPL

Artist rendition of BepiColombo approaching Mercury. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab; Mercury: NASA/JPL

October 2018 will be an exciting month for Mercury lovers! 

The BepiColombo spacecraft is set to launch in October as Europe's first mission to Mercury. The BepiColombo is also partnered with the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). 

It will arrive at Mercury by 2025, swinging around Venus a few times and test out its instruments there!

Here are some more fun facts about this cool new mission!

1- It will be exposed to temperatures over 600 degrees Fahrenheit!

2-Comprises of two main parts: the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), each with its own set of instruments!

3- It will launch from French Guiana after some more review testing for stability!

4- BepiColombo is named after Professor Giuseppe (Bepi) Colombo (1920-1984) from the University of Padua, Italy, a mathematician and engineer of astonishing imagination. He was the first to see that an unsuspected resonance is responsible for Mercury's habit of rotating on its axis three times for every two revolutions it makes around the Sun. He also suggested to NASA how to use a gravity-assist swing-by of Venus to place the Mariner 10 spacecraft in a solar orbit that would allow it to fly by Mercury three times in 1974-5.

Thank you reading and come back next week for a look at some Venus debates!

Caitlin Ahrens