Close-up of a set of thrusters on the BepiColombo Mercury Transfer Module (MTM) that will carry the two science orbiters – the Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter – to the innermost planet.
This image focuses on the lower set of 10 N bipropellant thrusters situated on the side of the spacecraft that will usually point away from the Sun. They are part of the chemical propulsion system used for general attitude control.
The silver/white thermal blanket is covered with Nextel, known for its heat-resistive properties, meaning the thrusters can be exposed directly to the Sun. This will occur when the bottom of the craft tilts towards the Sun as a natural consequence of flight dynamics.
The MTM has 24 bipropellant thrusters in total (12 pairs, with one redundant in each set).