Artists impression of Mercury Spacecraft's BepiColombo spacecraft: ESA/ATG medialab. Mercury: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
BepiColombo, a Japanese and European mission, will fly by the inner-most solar system next month. It will dive to 200 km above the surface sun-scorched Mercury.
The spacecraft is designed to withstand high temperatures close to our star and will gather data and images throughout the pass. It will make its closest approach to Mercury known by the term peri-herm, on 1 October.
Elsa Montagnon says that this will be the first of six Mercury flybys aimed at reducing BepiColombos velocity.