BepiColombo is a mission to Mercury that launched in October 2018. The mission is a collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). It is the third mission to travel to Mercury, following the American Mariner 10 and MESSENGER missions. BepiColombo is composed of two spacecraft, one called Bepi and the other Mio, which will be in separate orbits around the planet in 2025. The nominal mission, where the spacecraft will gather data about Mercury, will last one Earth year, with a possible one Earth year extension. It is named after the Italian scientist Giuseppe "Bepi" Colombo (1920-1984), who discovered that a spacecraft could reach Mercury orbit by using a series of gravitational assists.