Author Topic: ESA/JAXA - BepiColombo updates  (Read 42893 times)

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: ESA/JAXA - BepiColombo updates
« Reply #100 on: 09/28/2017 03:17 PM »
Cross-posts from Arianespace launch schedule thread:

BepiColombo launch date decision: unchanged.  NET October 5, 2018; NLT November 30

JWST launch delayed to 2019, date TBD.
Susanne Auer‏ @AuerSusan
An interesting detail from the #Arianespace #IAC2017 presentation:
#BepiColombo will launch 2018
#JWST one year later in 2019 #ESA #NASA

I should clarify that that "one year later" here just means in 2019, not "365 days after BepiColombo". I could have phrased that better in the tweet.

Original source is Jacques Breton, Arianespace VP Sales & Customers, speaking at IAC2017

Calapine aka Susanne Auer

Clash of launch site preparation places with BepiColombo which has a planetary launch window to chase in October 2018.

My opinion: not unexpected, given the celestial mechanics "facts of life."
Support your local planetarium!

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ESA/JAXA - BepiColombo updates
« Reply #101 on: 12/07/2017 01:55 PM »
ESA image:

Mercury Transfer Module in space simulator

Edit to add esa info:

Title Mercury Transfer Module in space simulator
Released 07/12/2017 2:00 pm
Copyright ESA–C. Carreau , CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

The BepiColombo Mercury Transfer Module has completed its final major test inside ESA’s Large Space Simulator, proving it will be able to withstand the temperature extremes it will experience on its journey to Mercury.

On the one hand, the mission will be exposed to the cold vacuum of space. On the other, it will travel close to the Sun, receiving 10 times the solar energy than we do on Earth. This translates to about 11 kW per sq m at Mercury, with the spacecraft expected to endure heating to about 350ºC, similar to a pizza oven.

Inside the simulator, the largest of its kind in Europe at 15m high and 10m wide, pumps create a vacuum a billion times lower than standard sea-level atmosphere, while the chamber’s walls are lined with tubes pumped with liquid nitrogen to create low temperatures of about –180ºC. At the same time, a set of 25kW IMAX projector-class lamps are used with mirrors to focus light onto the craft to generate the highest temperatures.

During the latest tests, carried out between 24 November and 4 December 2017, the module was rotated through 13º either side to monitor the heating and distribution. The ion engines were also activated – without creating thrust from an ion beam given the confines of the test chamber – to confirm that the module's electric propulsion system can operate in this challenging environment

The module is seen here stacked on a replica interface to mimic the science orbiters that it will be attached to during launch and the 7.2 year journey to Mercury. The four ion thrusters are seen on the top of module in this orientation. Not present in this test, the module will also be equipped with two solar wings that will unfold to a span of 30 m.

The transfer module’s job is to carry ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter and Japan’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter to the planet, where they will separate and enter their respective orbits. The craft will use a combination of gravity assist flybys at Earth, Venus and Mercury along with the transfer module’s ion thrusters to reach its destination.

The module will now be checked before the entire assembly is shipped to Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana next year. With this last major test complete, the mission is on track to be launched in the two-month window opening on 5 October 2018.
« Last Edit: 12/07/2017 02:40 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA/JAXA - BepiColombo updates
« Reply #102 on: 03/09/2018 07:29 PM »

BepiColombo gets green light for launch site

Europe’s first mission to Mercury will soon be ready for shipping to the spaceport to begin final preparations for launch.

The mission passed a major review yesterday, meaning that the three BepiColombo spacecraft, along with ground equipment and mission experts, are confirmed to start the move from ESA’s centre in the Netherlands to Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana at the end of next month. The launch window is open from 5 October until 29 November.

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA/JAXA - BepiColombo updates
« Reply #103 on: 03/09/2018 07:30 PM »
BepiColombo journey timeline

Timeline of flybys during BepiColombo's 7.2 year journey to Mercury, starting with the opening of the nearly two month long launch window in October 2018.

Image credit: ESA

Online jacqmans

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Re: ESA/JAXA - BepiColombo updates
« Reply #104 on: 03/13/2018 09:50 AM »
Made for Mercury
On 6 March 2018, the BepiColombo engineering model was delivered to ESA’s mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany.
BepiColombo – ESA’s first mission to Mercury – is based on two spacecraft: the ESA-led Mercury Planetary Orbiter, with 11 experiments and instruments, and the Japanese space agency-led Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter, carrying five experiments and instruments.
The engineering model delivered to Darmstadt comprises a 3D mock-up of the ESA module, plus a ‘flat-sat’ mock-up of the transfer module, which ties the ESA and Japanese modules together during their cruise to Mercury.
In this photo, Airbus technician Stanislaw Ballardt looks out from inside the ESA module during installation work on 7 March.
The engineering model is an electrically faithful replication of the most critical elements of the spacecraft’s main platform and flight control systems, such as its computers, mass memory and power systems.
Flight controllers will use the model throughout the mission to check software and procedures before uploading them to the real spacecraft. They will also train for flight events such as firing the electric thrusters, swinging by planets and separating the modules.

Offline Star One

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