The BepiColombo Mission
BepiColombo facts and figures
|An artist's impression of
the MPO at Mercury
- Launch: Aug-2013
- Launch vehicle: Soyuz 2-1B/Fregat-M
- Launch mass: 2300 kg
- Operational mission: Nominally 1 year in Mercury orbit untill September 2020
- Orbits: Heliocentric transfer orbit to Mercury. On arival at Mercury the two orbiters which together constitute BepiColombo separate. The planetary orbiter (MPO) enters a polar orbit 400 × 1500 km, 2.3 hr period and the magnetospheric orbiter (MMO) polar orbit 400 × 12 000 km, 9.2 hr period.
- Origin and evolution of a planet close to the parent star.
- Mercury's form, interior structure, geology, composition and craters.
Origin of Mercury's magnetic field.
- Test of Einstein's theory of general relativity. Mercury's vestigial atmosphere (exosphere): composition and dynamics.
- Mercury's magnetised envelope (magnetosphere): structure and dynamics.