This is the first photo from outer space from the Euro-Japanese BepiColombo mission flying to Mercury. It was performed on the surveillance camera of the MTM module on October 20, 2018. The picture shows one of the expanded solar cells (right) and the sun visor with insulation (left)
The mission launched to Mercury sent the first picture from space. The European-Japanese ship BepiColombo captures one of the solar panels and a safety flap on October 20. The ship consists of two MPO devices from ESA and MMO - the Japanese agency JAXA. The third component is the MTM module, which serves to support a couple during a long flight to the first planet from the Sun.
This journey will be a long one. BepiColombo plan to put into orbit of Mercury in December 2025, after 9 different planetary maneuvers related to the Earth, Venus and Mercury. The complex trajectory is a consequence of the high orbital speed of the planet and its proximity to the Sun.
When BepiColombo is in the final orbit of Mercury, its two orbiters will divide and go to explore the planet. A variety of data obtained by the duet will shed light on the composition of Mercury, a vast rocky surface, structure, magnetic field, formation and evolution.
The diagram shows a spacecraft, including the BepiColombo mission to Mercury, as well as the location of the surveillance camera that received the first photo on October 20, 2018
The historical first photo was recorded by one of three black-and-white surveillance cameras onboard the MTM. If everything goes according to plan, the other two cameras will activate on October 21-22 and will receive images of deployed antennas on the MPO.
Cameras are used at various times during the flight period, especially when flying over Earth, Venus and Mercury. The scientific LRO camera can only be used after dividing a pair of vehicles near Mercury at the end of 2025, because some of the 11 instruments are fixed during the cruise.