In the early morning of October, 19th Europe’s first mission to Mercury will focus for launching Arianespace and ESA have announced. The joint ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission will launch on Ariane 5 in Kourou. It is setting a trio of spacecraft for Mercury. The spacecraft will travel together and transfer two science orbiters. The first one is ESA Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the second is JAXA Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter. This is a combination of solar power and electric – gravity-assist flybys of earth that is mercury and Venus.
In October 18th22:45 in local time (GFT) , lift-off is 22:45 in local time (GFT). The chosen date represents the first option to launch. In order to this, some additional unplanned testing performed in Kourou. This launch remains open until November 29th.
ESA’s BepiColombo project manager Ulrich Reininghaus says that they have had an excellent start to launch their campaign in Kourou and the launch is for less than ninety days. They have exclusively packed schedule, but its great to see their spacecraft building up together for the last time. In may, many important preparations have been completed at the spaceport and the spacecraft has been completed finally. For example- the spacecraft have been fitted with their safety high-temperature blankets such as nitrogen and xenon tanks that have been checked, pressurized and loaded. This test and final solar installations arrays are underway.
For the major operations, simulations have started at ESA’s operations center in Darmstadt, Germany. Personnel is practicing some events that are non-routine, prepared for all the participants on the journey to Mercury. The spacecraft called stack will make the first flyby of Mercury in just three years after launch. A group of scientific instruments will be active at the time of planetary flybys, with the webcams transfer modules, that is offering the opportunity to capture common images before the major science camera, this is operational in Mercury orbit.
If separated into their final orbits, the two scientific craft will make complementary measurements. These measurements are the environment and the innermost planet. From it’s deep within to its interaction with the solar wind. This provides the best detailing of Mercury till date. The exclusive result will offer the innermost planet of a solar system and it evolves in close proximity to its parent star.
BepiColombo is the first Mercury mission and it explores terrestrial planets in our solar system.