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LAUNCH OF ESA/JAXA BEPICOLOMBO MISSION TO MERCURY, Oct 19, 2018 ET (Oct 20 GMT), Kourou, French Guiana

The European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) BepiColombo mission to Mercury, developed in partnership with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), will launch on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana at 01:45 GMT on October 20. Live launch coverage begins at 01:15 GMT.

Eastern Daylight Time is GMT-4, so the launch is on October 19 at 9:45 pm EDT, with live coverage beginning at 9:15 pm ET.

“Bepi” will use two orbiters to make complementary measures of Mercury at the same time.  Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun.  NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft was the first to orbit it (from 2011 to 2015).   It was commanded to impact the surface of Mercury at the end of its lifetime.

Bepi will take 7 years to reach the planet using solar electric propulsion and nine gravity assists from Earth, Venus and Mercury.

 

Details

Date:
October 19
Time:
1:00 am - 11:00 pm