BepiColombo (cruise configuration)


BepiColombo (patch)
(cruise configuration)

This page contains philatelic information on the BepiColombo spacecraft. Catalog numbers, years of issue, and notes are given when available. If readers know of additional information or images, please contact the authors using the e-mail addresses at the bottom of this page.

BepiColombo was named after Giuseppe "Bepi" Colombo (1920-1984), the Italian scientist who first proposed the planetary "slingshot" gravity assist technique now often used by interplanetary spacecraft. The mission consists of four components. There are three separate spacecraft (the Mercury Planet Orbiter (MPO), the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), and the Mercury Transfer Module (MTM)). The fourth component, the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter's Sunshild and Interface Structure (MOSIF), is a protective cover for the MMO. JAXA (Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency) built the MMO. The other three were built by the ESA (European Space Agency). The MTM is carrying the other components in a 7-year voyage to Mercury, where they will separate on a planned date of 5 December 2025, with the MPO and MMO going into two different orbits around the planet. When together in the voyage to Mercury, the ensemble can be referred to as "BepiColombo in cruise configuration".

Launch information
(found elsewhere)
Launch covers
(including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers)
(farther below)
Other postal items
(stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.)
(immediately below)

Below is a list of BepiColombo spacecraft postal items (stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.).

CountryCatalog NumberType of ItemYear of IssueNotes on Content
BepiColombo (ESA-JAXA)
BeninUnknown d (Mi none)
Unknown id
One of MS4 (a-d) [known illegal issue]
One of imperforate MS4 (a-d)
2014"BepiColombo" (cruise configuration)
BeninUnknown a-d fdcOne of four stamps on FDC
BeninUnknown d proof
Unknown id proof
One of MS4 proof (a-d)
One of imperforate MS4 proof (a-d)
BeninUnknown ms proofSigned-proof MS4 (a-d)
BeninUnknown ms proof fdc
Unknown ims proof fdc
MS4 proof on FDC
Imperforate MS4 proof on FDC
BeninUnknown ss (BL none)
Unknown iss
SS1 [known illegal issue]
Imperforate SS1
2018"BepiColombo launch" (in French text); MMO, MOSIF and MPO separating from MTM (in stamp); MPO (lower orbit) and MMO (higher orbit) (in the lower-right margin); MPO (in FDC cachet)
BeninUnknown fdcSS1 and (multi-color printed) cachet on FDC
In (upper-left and upper-right) margins of MS2 (Mi3480A-3481A)
In (upper-left and upper-right) margins of imperforate MS2 (Mi3480B-3481B)
2014Bepi Colombo (cruise configuration)
In (upper-right) margin of SS1 (Mi3481A)
In (upper-right) margin of imperforate SS1 (Mi3481B)
"sonde Beppi-Colombo" [note two 'p's] (cruise configuration)
DjiboutiUnknown ms (Mi none)On (left) stamp and in (upper-left) margin of MS2 (a-b) [known illegal issue]2014"BepiColombo" (cruise configuration) and logo
DjiboutiUnknown fdcMS2 on FDC
DjiboutiUnknown iss (BL none)Imperforate SS1 [known illegal issue]
FranceNone(Lettre-verte) personalized postage, from booklet of 10 (10x single)2018"Bepi Colombo" (cruise configuration)
FranceNone(Lettre-verte) personalized postage (different), from booklet of 10 (10x single)
GabonUnknown c (Mi none)
Unknown ic
From MS4 (a-d) [known illegal issue]
From imperforate MS4 (a-d)
2015"BepiColombo" tracking (stamp 'c') and depicted in cruise configuration (stamp 'd' and in the cachet of Unknown ims FDC)
GabonUnknown d (Mi none)
Unknown id
GabonUnknown essayMS4 (a-d) essay
GabonUnknown ms fdc
Unknown ims fdc
MS4 on FDC
Imperforate MS4 and (multi-color printed) cachet on FDC
GabonUnknown a-d fdcTwo of four stamps on FDC
GabonUnknown a (Mi none)One of MS4 (a-d) [known illegal issue]2017"BepiColombo" MPO
GabonUnknown ms (Mi none)MS4 (a-d) [known illegal issue]2018"BepiColombo" four mission components (MTM, MPO, MOSIF and MMO) in two different exploded views (in left margin); MMO separating from the "BepiColombo" cruise configuration ensemble (stamp 'a'); "Mercury Planetary Orbiter" (stamp 'b'); "Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter" (stamp 'c'); "BepiColombo" in cruise configuration and "MPO - ESA" and "MMO - JAXA" (stamp 'd')
GabonUnknown ss (BL none)SS1 [known illegal issue]MMO separating from the "BepiColombo" cruise configuration ensemble (upper-left margin); "BepiColombo" launch depiction, and artistic, logo-style drawing of "BepiColombo" in cruise configuration (in the stamp)
GermanyNone(Biberpost) private post2018"BepiColombo" MMO (upper-right, in the red orbit) and MPO (lower-center, in the yellow orbit)
GermanyNone fdc(Biberpost) private post and (pictorial) cancel and (multi-color printed) cachet on FDC(As above for the stamp); "BepiColombo" MPO (at right in cancel) and MMO (at left in cancel); and "BepiColombo" in cruise configuration (in cachet)
ItalyNone(Multi-color printed) cachet on aerogramme1992"Giuseppe Colombo, 1920-1984" (his nickname "Bepi Colombo" was given to the Mercury exploration spacecraft BepiColombo)
ItalyNone fdcAerogramme FDC
MadagascarUnknown ms (Mi none)MS4 (a-d) [known illegal issue]2018"BepiColombo" mission logo (lower-left margin) and French text with mission details (lower margin); "BepiColombo" in cruise configuration (stamps 'a' and 'd'); "BepiColombo" MPO (stamps 'b' and 'c')
MadagascarUnknown ss (BL none)SS1 [known illegal issue]"BepiColombo" in cruise configuration (upper-left margin, incorrectly labeled as "Mercury Planetary Orbiter") and mission logo (upper-right margin) and "Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter" (antennas furled, in lower right margin); "BepiColombo" MPO (in center of stamp) and "MMO" (with antennas extended, in lower-left of stamp)
St. Thomas and Prince IslandUnknown ss (BL none)
Unknown iss
In (upper-right) margin of SS1 [known illegal issue]
In (upper-right) margin of imperforate SS1
2005BepiColombo (cruise configuration) and logo; also "Giuseppe (Bepi) Colombo (1920 - 1984)"
St. Thomas and Prince IslandUnknown fdcSS1 and (multi-color printed) cachet on FDC

Below is a list of BepiColombo spacecraft launch covers (including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers).

CountryCancel DateCancel LocationType of ItemNotes on Content
2018-10-20: BepiColombo (ESA-JAXA)
United States2018-10-19Greenbelt MD(Red Eagle) cachet on coverBepiColombo launch
France2018-10-20Paris(Lollini) cachet on coverBepiColombo launch
BepiColombo (events)
United States2020-04-10Pasadena CA(Red Eagle) cachet on cover"BepiColombo Mercury spacecraft Earth flyby"

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Updated: 2024-03-24