Q: Why are NASA’s Mercury/Messenger data so tough to get?

RJ: Formal confirmation, we did not get. Unofficially, of course we received it. It’s a question of confirmation and uncertainty, and NASA colleagues being reluctant to be quoted. But it works.

UK: There is also a joint planetary mission archive that all ESA and NASA scientists can access, so, yes information does eventually get shared. We have very good relations.

UK: Mercury is crucial for understanding the rest of the planets. So Bepi is a fundamental mission. And it will absolutely not replicate NASA’s mission — it compliments and improves on the excellent basis already established.