Video footage from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou showing the three BepiColombo spacecraft modules being 'stacked' in launch configuration.
BepiColombo is a joint endeavour between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA. The mission comprises two science orbiters: ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter and JAXA’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter. The ESA-built Mercury Transfer Module will carry the orbiters to Mercury using a combination of solar electric propulsion and gravity assist flybys. It is the first European mission to Mercury, the smallest and least explored planet in the inner Solar System, and the first to send two spacecraft to make complementary measurements of the planet and its dynamic environment at the same time.
The mission is scheduled to launch on 20 October 2018 at 01:45 GMT. Watch live: www.esa.int/live