In order to give you a better service Airbus uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies I agree

DAY 7

DAY 7

SEARCH FOR THE MYSTERIES OF MERCURY

Follow BepiColombo’s mission to the least explored planet

To this day, Mercury remains the most mysterious planet of our solar system. The Sun’s glare makes it impossible to study via telescope; extreme heat and proximity to the Sun make it hard to reach.

Many questions remain unanswered. But pioneers are driven to overcome challenges and make bold efforts to discover new horizons, and on 20 October 2018, BepiColombo, Europe’s first mission to Mercury, set off on an extreme journey.

Europe’s space scientists have identified BepiColombo as one of the most challenging planetary missions. Mission success will rely on parts of BepiColombo being able to withstand temperatures high enough to melt aluminium, while the side facing away from the sun must endure the chilling cold of deep space.

Hans-Martin Hell is no stranger to challenging space missions, but BepiColombo is another level of difficulty, even for him. “This was my motivation,” he says. “When you’re an engineer, you’re always looking for your next big challenge.”

Take on the BepiColombo challenge below to test your knowledge about this pioneering mission.


“More than 70% of the technology found on the satellite is unique to this project, but the most valuable component has been the people.”

Hans-Martin Hell, BepiColombo Integration and Test Manager, the Netherlands.

Day 7 Search For The Mysteries Of Mercury
How long is the journey?
What are the hazards along the way?
What’s the route?
What is the probe looking for?
What will it find at its destination?

Designed to uncover some of the mysteries of Mercury, BepiColombo is a joint mission between the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), built by hundreds of Airbus engineers based across Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and France.

“I’ve never worked on a project that’s so infused with the spirit of cooperation,” says one of the engineers involved in the inspection of the satellite in the Netherlands.

DISCOVER FOUR WAYS TO CLEAN UP SPACE

DISCOVER FOUR WAYS TO CLEAN UP SPACE

RemoveDEBRIS programme declutters space

THE MOMENT A HELICOPTER CONQUERED EVEREST

THE MOMENT A HELICOPTER CONQUERED EVEREST

The Ecureuil performs in the most extreme conditions

Like this story?  

Like this story?

For 50 days, we are celebrating the pioneering spirit that drives our progress. Explore more stories here.

Back to top