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BepiColombo now firing on all cylinders

5 Dec 2018, 10:59 UTC
BepiColombo now firing on all cylinders spacecraft: ESA/ATG medialab; Mercury: NASA/JPL

Artist’s impression of the BepiColombo spacecraft in cruise configuration, with Mercury in the background. On its 7.2 year journey to the innermost planet, BepiColombo will fly by Earth once, Venus twice and Mercury six times before entering into orbit.

The Mercury Transfer Module is shown with ion thrusters firing, and with its solar wings extended, spanning about 30 m from tip-to-tip. The 7.5 m-long solar array of the Mercury Planetary Orbiter in the middle is seen almost edge-on extending to the top. The Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter is hidden inside the sunshield.

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