BepiColombo - Exploring Mercury

Europe's first mission to Mercury

Welcome to ESA's website for the BepiColombo scientific community and the BepiColombo Science Ground Segment. The target audience for this site is scientists and engineers involved in the BepiColombo mission. ESA pages for the general public interested in the BepiColombo mission can be found here .

 

BepiColombo MTM Thermal Vacuum Test successfully finished 

The last of a series of BepiColombo qualification and acceptance tests was successfully finished last weekend.  The Mercury Transfer Module, MTM, was tested inside ESA’s large space simulator (LSS) to confirm that it could withstand the thermal environment during cruise and that its Solar Electric Propulsion System can be operated. This test will end the mission’s thorough test campaign, which started in 2010 with the first qualification test of the Structural Thermal Model (STM) of BepiColombo. During this time nine tests with different units of BepiColombo have been performed in the LSS plus many more on vibration, acoustic and EMC. Now the specialists have to review all the results. After this the review board is expected to permit the shipping of the spacecraft to the launch site. This is envisaged for end of March 2018. The launch window for BepiColombo will open on 5 October for about two months. Some more info can be found here:

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2017/12/Mercury_Transfer_Module_in_space_simulator

 

Image credit: ESA/ThalesAleniaSpace - Antonio Litterio

 

MISSION STATUS

Launch: 5 October 2018

Time till launch: