Artist's impression of BEPI Colombo. The EADS Astrium built Mercury probe will explore the innermost planet of our solar system. The launch is planned for July 2014. An Ariane 5 will carry BEPI Colombo into space from the European spaceport at Kourou. It will reach Mercury after a six years journey. BEPI Colombo consists of three modules, the European Mercury Planetary orbiter (MPO), the Japanese Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) and a transfer module. The image shows all three modules before separation.
© EADS 2013