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The adventure is about to begin! We'll discuss it here. Link to ESA coverage, launch currently slated for 20 Oct/0145 UTC.

GO BEPICOLOMBO!!!
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30 min until ESA feed goes live.
Bjorn Jonsson
A very interesting followup to the Messenger mission. It's past midnight where I live but I'm finding it impossible to go to sleep until I've seen the launch...
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Should be a fascinating mission.

T- 30 min now, feed is live! smile.gif
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GO!!!!!!!
Bjorn Jonsson
WOW!!!
So far so good.
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Spacecraft separation. smile.gif

Thread title edited to reflect the fact that they're on their way.
Bjorn Jonsson
It's alive!! Signal acquisition!
MahFL
QUOTE (Bjorn Jonsson @ Oct 20 2018, 03:27 AM) *
It's alive!! Signal acquisition!


Awesome, missed the launch as I had to deal with a work problem.
Explorer1
Solar arrays deployed!
And a day later, first images from the engineering cameras! http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/20...mage_from_space
nprev
Antenna deployment images.

Think we're likely to see some extraordinarily cool selfies at Mercury (and perhaps during the Earth and Venus flybys as well.) smile.gif
Roby72
Only the engineering cameras will be active during the flybys...when the enter orbit around Mercury in 2025 - this will be the beginning of science with the optical instruments.
Does anyone know the specs of the camera/lenses used with the science cameras?
charborob
QUOTE (Roby72 @ Oct 21 2018, 05:21 PM) *
Only the engineering cameras will be active during the flybys...when the enter orbit around Mercury in 2025 - this will be the beginning of science with the optical instruments.
Does anyone know the specs of the camera/lenses used with the science cameras?

Some information here.
nogal
BepiColombo continues to fare well. The magnetometer boom deployed correctly, as seen in this animated gif, and first measurements of the local magnetic field have been made.
Fernando
nogal
The testing of BepiColombo's four electric propulsion thrusters went well, as reported by ESA here.
This was a critical procedure that had to be executed during a window when the spacecraft was continuously in full view of the ground antennas.
The first thrust arc will begin in mid-December.
The above mentioned article also contains a short movie of BepiColombo's seven year journey to Mercury, highlighting all the gravity assist planetary encounters.
nogal
ESA announced that BepiColombo has initiated its first thrust arc, which will last 2 months.
The ion thrusters' maximum planed thrust for the entire journey is 250 mN, equivalent to the pull of 250 ants (!) blink.gif
Fernando
monty python
Great news. And a cool selfie.
nogal
BepiColombo continues to work well. Here is an excerpt from the latest ESA release:
QUOTE
Following a series of tests conducted in space over the past five months, the ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission has successfully completed its near-Earth commissioning phase and is now ready for the operations that will take place during the cruise and, eventually, for its scientific investigations at Mercury.

And the release: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Sc...its_long_cruise

Fernando
MahFL
QUOTE (nogal @ Apr 5 2019, 02:12 PM) *
BepiColombo continues to work well. Here is an excerpt from the latest ESA release:

And the release: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Sc...its_long_cruise

Fernando


They mentioned some ongoing issues, but did not say what they were.
bobik
First Light of PHEBUS on BepiColombo MPO.
nogal
On June 17 BepiColombo used its on-board monitoring cameras to take some selfies.Here is the ESA release link
The release includes a link to a cool tool: BepiColombo Attitude Viewer I find it requires a screen larger than that of a mobile phone.
Fernando
nogal
An interesting ESA article with some details about Bepi Colombo's thermal environment and challenges:
"How we heat-proofed ESA's Mercury mission"

Fernando
bobik
There is apparently a public dashboard of the BepiColombo Quick-Look Analysis (QLA) web interface showing, among others, ground stations pass information. If they would complement it with more functionality and at least some generic spacecraft and instrument data, e.g. power consumption, temperature readings, telemetry events, data volumes, etc., this could become a quite innovative outreach tool and fascinating way to follow the BepiColombo expedition.
nogal
Despite the restrictions due to the current coronavirus crisis, ESA is preparing for the April 10's BepiColombo Earth flyby.
Celestial mechanics is, of course, immune to the virus tongue.gif and we are already within the critical two weeks before the flyby.
Here is an ESA article on this subject: http://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Spa...onavirus_crisis

Fernando
Explorer1
Some very impressive images came down showing Earth's rotation as it approaches, as seen on social media. The MTM external cameras were a good idea!
MahFL
QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Apr 9 2020, 07:55 PM) *
Some very impressive images came down showing Earth's rotation as it approaches, as seen on social media. The MTM external cameras were a good idea!


I watched the ESA flyby simulation live.
nogal
Esa has released a short image sequence taken by the camera on the Japanese module.
Fernando

"BepiColombo's last close-up of Earth during flyby" http://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Images/2...th_during_flyby
antipode
Wow! Love this sort of 'through the rigging' stuff.

Resolution is unimportant, its the perspective that is special.

Its like a better version of Rosetta's Mars flyby.

P
Lucas
Here is a video from the Kryoneri Observatory in Greece, showing BepiColombo during the flyby. Wow!

You donít need a Facebook account to see it: https://www.facebook.com/athensobservatory/...56196052386495/
nogal

BepiColopmbo: The Earth Flyby collection, by ESA:
http://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Videos/2...Colombo_s_flyby
Fernando


palebutdot
Here's another view of Earth and Moon from BepiColombo earlier during the mission (cam_raw_sc_cam3_image_20200304t233732_13_f__t0080 to cam_raw_sc_cam3_image_20200305t233453_28_f__t0100)

https://archives.esac.esa.int/psa/
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