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BepiColombo Status
ugordan
post Jan 19 2008, 08:43 PM
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BepiColombo will not be able to go to the outer solar system, even if it turns out to be easier energy-wise because it will rely on solar electric propulsion. Go further out from the Sun and the available power rapidly decreases. You can't just send a spacecraft built for Mercury around the solar system like that, there are operating environment issues (thermal control, radiation), instrument suite optimizations etc.


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djellison
post Jan 19 2008, 08:59 PM
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Was anyone bugged when Mars Odyssey went after MGS, MEX after Odyssey and MRO after MEX?

At the very lowest level, two streams of data coming back from Mercury are better than one. More insightfully, BC will be doing some overlap science, some new science - and will be observing at a higher resolution.

Doug
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JRehling
post Jan 19 2008, 09:39 PM
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The Galileans are much more challenging targets than Mercury for sustained orbital operations. They have tiny Hill Spheres, so you need to put the orbiter into a low orbit or Jupiter will steal the craft away at apoapsis. And shielding against the massive radiation is an even bigger problem.

It would be easier to fly by the Galileans than Mercury, but orbiting them (Io and Europa, at least) is harder.
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mgrodzki
post Jan 20 2008, 02:38 PM
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i would assume that mission managers have their reasons… just always wonder about these things. but i am still shocked that there would be little coordination between bepicolumbo and messenger. just having one orbiter at mercury would make me want to save that money and earmark it for a wholly new mission elsewhere. assuming much of the craft is already assembled, perhaps it is not suited for any other kind of mission other than inner system – which has few targets.


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djellison
post Jan 20 2008, 02:41 PM
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QUOTE (mgrodzki @ Jan 20 2008, 02:38 PM) *
but i am still shocked that there would be little coordination between bepicolumbo and messenger.


What gives you that idea?

Doug
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Mariner9
post Jan 20 2008, 10:54 PM
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I see your point about wanting there to be a balance on missions, and not focus too much on one spot when so many tempting targets stand waiting.

But given that there have been only 2 missions to Mercury so far, I'm not that bothered by the idea of Bepi Columbo heading there a full decade after Messenger. In fact, I rather like the idea that some targets get a series of missions so that our knowledge about them slowly expands rather than jump up dramatically, then just come to a halt for decades. (such as happened with the Mars Viking missions)

Besides.... better another two orbiters at Mercury (Bepi-Columbo has two orbiters) than yet another Moon mission. I understand that countries like China and India are getting their space legs and gathering experience by doing the lunar missions, but personally I just don't do handsprings of excitement over the idea that we will have 4 lunar orbiters launched over a 2 year period.
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Phil Stooke
post Jan 21 2008, 12:46 AM
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Well, the different missions carry different instruments - the lunar ones you mention, and the mercury missions. It's not all duplication.

Phil


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ugordan
post Jan 21 2008, 08:43 AM
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If you ask me this has become rather absurd. Look at us, we actually have people complaining we have too many missions at one planet!

Seriously, guys!

The more, the merrier.


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GravityWaves
post Jan 21 2008, 09:04 AM
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QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Oct 19 2007, 11:42 AM) *
The landing method would have been interesting.


why did they scrap the lander, no money ?
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mps
post Jan 21 2008, 10:45 AM
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Money was at least one important issue. Not only development and building costs, but also the cost of another Soyuz launch vehicle.
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ustrax
post Jan 21 2008, 11:37 AM
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QUOTE
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?


Aren't you watching spacEuropeTV?! blink.gif tongue.gif
There are four main aspects about BC enhanced by the Project Scientist: SIXS, MERTIS, ISA+MORE and, of course...JAXA's MMO...

QUOTE (djellison @ Jan 20 2008, 02:41 PM) *
What gives you that idea?


Doug, besides some data exchange, and what BC can learn from MESSENGER, on the technical side there will be no cooperation between the two missions.


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mps
post Jan 21 2008, 01:21 PM
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Ustrax, spaceEurope says that MESSENGER's coverage of Mercury is 25%, but BepiColombo's is global. What does it exactly mean?
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ustrax
post Jan 21 2008, 02:14 PM
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QUOTE (mps @ Jan 21 2008, 01:21 PM) *
Ustrax, spaceEurope says that MESSENGER's coverage of Mercury is 25%, but BepiColombo's is global. What does it exactly mean?


I believe that the percentages are related with the fact of BC having the power to obtain a larger set of datait by being equiped with a better arsenal of instruments than MESSENGER. At the end of both missions, the data acquired could be converted into this numbers...


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Greg Hullender
post Jan 21 2008, 02:31 PM
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So you think it's just a translation issue? They mean BC will only have a 25% overlap with Messenger -- in terms of data, not km^2. That would both make sense and be good to hear. :-)

--Greg
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ustrax
post Jan 21 2008, 02:52 PM
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QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Jan 21 2008, 02:31 PM) *
So you think it's just a translation issue? They mean BC will only have a 25% overlap with Messenger -- in terms of data, not km^2. That would both make sense and be good to hear. :-)

--Greg


Yes, that was the impression I had, that the numbers are referring to data and not area, by what I know MESSENGER will cover much more than 25% of Mercury's surface...if that is not clear in the video sorry for not being clear enough.


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