The ESA-JAXA BepiColombo Mission to Mercury On-board payload and Heliospheric Science Objectives

Author: Stefano Orsini

Affiliation: IAPS-INAF

Abstract:

The BepiColombo mission to Mercury, an ESA-JAXA joint venture, is composed by two satellites. The first, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO, ESA) will operate along a low-altitude polar orbit (~ 480×1500 km); while the second, the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO, JAXA) will move along a polar orbit as well, with a similar pericenter and a more distant apocenter (~12000 km). The two satellites will have payloads of 11 and 5 instruments/instrument packages, respectively. Several instruments will be devoted to both environmental and solar-planetary interactions studies, including ionized and neutral particles, magnetic field, plasma waves and solar UV and energetic radiation.

In this presentation, the major scientific goals of this mission and the related instrumentation will be briefly resumed, by focusing on heliospheric-environmental studies.