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BepiColombo Status
Rakhir
post Feb 26 2007, 12:17 PM
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ESA gives go-ahead to build BepiColombo

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMC8XBE8YE_index_0.html

BepiColombo has been definitively 'adopted' by the Agency’s Science Programme Committee (SPC) last Friday.
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ustrax
post Mar 16 2007, 11:05 AM
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Onward to Mercury!
Some details about the mission and a timetable untill the launch.


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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post May 4 2007, 01:18 AM
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I forgot to mention this at the time, but below is little tidbit from In Orbit section of the April 2, 2007, issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology:
QUOTE
Russia has agreed to provide a gamma ray and neutron spectrometer for the European Space Agency's BepiColombo Mercury probe, to be built by EADS Astrium and launched in 2013...
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ustrax
post Oct 17 2007, 01:34 PM
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Cool!... smile.gif


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stevesliva
post Oct 17 2007, 10:03 PM
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Very interesting! I didn't realize that they'd proposed shedding the cruise stage and using free capture to drop into Mercury orbit.
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nprev
post Oct 18 2007, 03:36 AM
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Yes...an ingenious mission profile to be sure. No lander anymore, though...? sad.gif


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djellison
post Oct 18 2007, 06:30 AM
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Was there ever one planned...I don't remember there ever being one as part of BC - certainly not at any point after it got approved.

Doug
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mchan
post Oct 19 2007, 09:19 AM
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There was a small (Beagle-sized) lander proposed. It would have operated for a short time. The thermal protection required would have been interesting. I think you are right about it being dropped before the project was approved.
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centsworth_II
post Oct 19 2007, 02:42 PM
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QUOTE (mchan @ Oct 19 2007, 05:19 AM) *
The thermal protection required would have been interesting.


The landing method would have been interesting.
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K-P
post Oct 28 2007, 09:15 PM
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Any plans of using for example MMO -probe as a crash-lander at the end of primary mission to get some extra data from the surface, while MPO would do the imaging a'la Deep Impact? Or in case of MMO missing the necessary engines/thrust doing it vice versa? And is it so, that on those orbits around Mercury (just like Messenger), without any intervention, these probes' orbits don't decay in a traditional sense but they will get longer and higher until Sun's gravity pulls them on a heliocentric orbit...? And what would be the limit/distance for Mercury to keep a probe on a stable orbit around it?


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tasp
post Oct 29 2007, 03:20 AM
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IIRC, tendency of solar perturbations on an initially circular orbit about Mercury is to 'pump up' the eccentricity of the orbit. Seems like you contact the surface prior to achieving escape. Handy if you want to contact the surface, not so handy if you want to escape.


{It's been nearly 30 years since the astro class where I heard this, if my recollection has deteriorated over the decades, probably no big surprise}
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mhall
post Jan 18 2008, 03:19 PM
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It seems that the contract is now signed!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7195374.stm
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mgrodzki
post Jan 19 2008, 02:07 PM
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for those of us too lazy to do the research… what will be the major difference between messenger’s objectives at mercury and bepi-columbo’s? i would have to assume that NASA and ESA have coordinated their efforts here. i was a little shocked to discover there will be 2 missions to a planet not explored for 33 years. i would almost say its a bit overkill considering the other meaty targets in the solar system like titan, europa, enceladus… io… etc.

is it just cheaper/easier to get to mercury than any of the above?


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dvandorn
post Jan 19 2008, 05:10 PM
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As far as I know, the people designing Bepi-Columbo are not working in concert with the Messenger team in any way. And B-C has a rather checkered history in the first place, it's launch date has been pushed back several times and its mission rescoped even more times.

B-C is one of those projects that I will believe when I see it actually built, launched and working. And not until then. As far as I'm concerned, it makes little sense to worry about whether or not it's a complementary mission to Messenger until the odds of it actually flying improve beyond "maybe someday"... *sigh*...

Besides, unlike the results from Messenger, only three people in the world will ever see more than three or four images from B-C even if it does fly, so I don't know why anyone would be worried about it in the first place.

-the other Doug


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mgrodzki
post Jan 19 2008, 08:28 PM
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i know there have been issues with BC, but i was under the impression that it was a done deal. ESA has it listed as a mission to be expected… is it possible they might just use it to target another body? seems hard to believe that anyone would spend all that money and energy to do a repeat mission of one that will have just been executed successfully by messenger.

personally, i’d rather they even just launch bepi-columbo and crash land it into europa, enceladus or io than another orbital mission to mercury. wouldn’t that be a thrill to see io that up-close?


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