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 at the bottom in this orientation 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 extending to the bottom. The Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter is visible inside the sunshield.
BepiColombo is a joint endeavour between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA.
The view of Mercury is based on imagery from NASA’s Mariner 10 mission.