BepiColombo successfully launched
The European-Japanese space probe is now on its way to Mercury. It will reach the innermost planet in seven years.
October 20, 2018
BepiColombo is only the third mission to investigate Mercury from close up. Unlike its predecessors Mariner 10 and MESSENGER (both NASA missions), BepiColombo consists of two space probes: the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO), which will study the planet itself, and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), that will orbit at a greater distance from mercury in order to explore the planet’s magnetosphere and exosphere.
The MPS contributed to the laser altimeter BELA, the X-ray spectrometer MIXS and the instrument package SERENA on board MPO as well as to the plasma particle experiment MPPE on board MMO. The researchers from Göttingen are hoping for an overall picture of the smallest planet in our solar system - from its inner structure to its surface and extremely thin atmosphere.