ENP Newswire -
Release date- 04072014 -
It will then be shipped to
BepiColombo is a joint mission between the
The Italian space agency and industry are also making a significant contribution to the mission, with responsibility for four out of the 11 experiments: SIMBIO-SYS, an integrated system of cameras for the observation and characterization of the planet's surface; the ISA ultra-sensitive accelerometer; the MORE radio science experiment, using the satellite's Ka-band transponder and SERENA, an experiment that will study the particle environment using two neutral particle analyzers and two ion spectrometers.
'BepiColombo is one of the most ambitious missions planned by ESA, and has required the development of special technologies to deal with the severe conditions on Mercury,' said
Thales Alenia Space, working through the Italian, European and American space agencies, has made a significant contribution to major international space exploration missions for the last two decades and more. Our contributions reflect the company's high level of technological expertise, bolstering our leadership and establishing our position as a world-class supplier for advanced space programs.'
One distinctive feature of the BepiColombo mission is the development of special high-temperature technologies. Mercury is only one-third of the distance to the Sun, compared with the Earth, and the solar radiation in orbit around Mercury is estimated at ten times more intense than near Earth.
The space probe will have to withstand temperatures greater than 300-degreeC during its approach to Mercury, with local excursions on the antenna reflector of up to 400-degreeC or more, while the spacecraft's instruments will have to work at temperatures ranging from 0-degree to 40-degree. It was therefore necessary to develop special materials and devices for all exposed elements, including thermal blankets, antennas, solar cells and pointing mechanisms.
BepiColombo is actually a composite spacecraft that comprises three modules: the Mercury Transfer Module (MTM), which will propel the spacecraft to Mercury using electric propulsion; the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO), carrying the European observation instruments and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), developed by the Japanese space agency JAXA to observe the planet's magnetosphere.
About Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and
Because of its unrivaled expertise in dual (civil/military) missions, constellations, flexible payloads, altimetry, meteorology and high-resolution optical and radar instruments, Thales Alenia Space is the natural partner to countries that want to expand their space program. The company posted consolidated revenues in excess of
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