The ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission completed its first flyby on 10 April, as the spacecraft came less than 12 700 km from Earth’s surface at 06:25 CEST, steering its trajectory towards the final destination, Mercury.
As the spacecraft closed in on our planet, reached closest approach and finally departed, images gathered with the three monitoring ‘selfie’ cameras mounted on Mercury Transfer Module (MTM), one of the three components of the BepiColombo mission, portray our planet shining through darkness. The farewell image, obtained on 11 April, also features the Moon as a tiny speck of light.
This infographic provides a simplified overview of the various imaging slots throughout the flyby manoeuvre. Relative sizes and distances are not to scale.
More information: BepiColombo takes last snaps of Earth en route to Mercury