Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) launched BepiColombo* at 10:45:28 p.m., local time in French Guinea, October 19, 2018. (10:45 a.m., Japan Time, October 20, 2018) JAXA's Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MIO) and the ESA's Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) were both launched as a single composite mission spacecraft aboard Ariane 5 from the Kourou Space Centre, French Guiana.
The Ariane 5 flight proceeded nominally. About 26 minutes 47 seconds into flight, Ariane 5 separated the payload as expected.
JAXA expresses sincere gratitude for all on behalf of the BepiColombo launch.
* BepiColombo is a leading, collaborative mission to Mercury between Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). Dedicated to extensive observations of Mercury, the mission employs two spacecraft - Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MIO) provided by JAXA and Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO), by the ESA.