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BepiColombo: Payload and mission updates

Schulz, R. and Benkhoff, J. (2006) BepiColombo: Payload and mission updates. Advances in Space Research, 38 (4), pp. 572-577. COSPAR. DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2005.05.084. ISSN 0273-1177.

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Abstract

BepiColombo is an interdisciplinary mission to explore the planet Mercury through a partnership between ESA and Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). From their dedicated orbits two spacecraft, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), will be studying the planet and its environment. They will be launched together on a single Soyuz-Fregat. The launch is foreseen for May 2012 with arrival in January 2017. Solar electric propulsion will be used for the journey to Mercury. The MMO provided by JAXA focuses on investigating the wave and particle environment of the planet from an eccentric orbit. The MPO, a three-axis-stabilized and nadir-pointing spacecraft in a low-eccentricity polar orbit, is dedicated to the characterization of Mercury. It will provide high accuracy measurements of the planet’s interior structure, a characterization of Mercury’s exosphere and a full coverage of the planet surface at high resolution, whereby surface morphology will be correlated to surface composition. Major effort was put into optimizing the scientific return by defining the payload complement such that individual measurements can be interrelated and complement each other. In November 2004, the BepiColombo scientific payload has been officially approved. The MPO payload comprises 11 instruments/instrument packages; the MMO payload consists of 5 instruments/instrument packages. Together, the scientific payload of both spacecraft will provide the detailed information necessary to understand Mercury and its magnetospheric environment and to find clues to the origin and evolution of a planet close to its parent star. An overview is given of the status of BepiColombo will with special emphasis on the MPO.

Document Type:Article
Title:BepiColombo: Payload and mission updates
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Schulz, R.ESA Research and Scientific Support Department, ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
Benkhoff, J.UNSPECIFIED
Date:2006
Journal or Publication Title:Advances in Space Research
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:No
Volume:38
DOI:10.1016/j.asr.2005.05.084
Page Range:pp. 572-577
Publisher:COSPAR
ISSN:0273-1177
Status:Published
Keywords:BepiColombo, instrumentation, mission design, Mercury, space missions
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben BepiColombo (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Physics
Deposited By: Nils Müller
Deposited On:02 Jan 2007
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 13:22

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