Main Engine Cut Off

BepiColombo Completes Earth Flyby, Sends Back Wonderful Imagery

It was an important weekend for ESA and JAXA’s mission to Mercury, as BepiColombo used Earth for a gravity assist on its way to the inner solar system. The team used the opportunity to fire up its instruments, make some measurements, and calibrate accordingly. And that means great imagery!

Some of my favorite images from space are the ones where you can see parts of spacecraft, because it adds such great context and perspective. BepiColombo delivered on that, with a sequence of images at closest approach.

But the best sequence is the nearly 10-hour long, full disk approach.