The BepiColombo probe to examine Mercury, the largely unexplored planet closest to the Sun
The mission comprises a composite of two orbiters and two supporting modules which are launched in a four-module stack configuration. The orbiters are the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO). The supporting modules are the Mercury Transfer Module (MTM) and the MMO Sunshade and Interface Structure (MOSIF). The prime contractor for the mission is Airbus Defence and Space. ESA is providing the MPO, MTM and MOSIF. JAXA will supply the MMO. The mission is slated for launch in 2017. On arrival at Mercury in 2024 it will gather data for at least one year.