NPR

A Slow Trip To A Hot Planet: Spacecraft Poised For Mission To Mercury

The European Space Agency's BepiColombo will take seven years to reach the innermost planet in our solar system, where temperatures at the surface can reach 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

The European Space Agency is sending a mission to explore the mysteries of Mercury.

BepiColombo, named after the Italian mathematician and engineer Giuseppe "Bepi" Colombo, is set to launch at 9:45 p.m. ET Friday aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from a spaceport in French Guiana. The launch will be broadcast live .

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