BepiColombo News 2012


05/12/2012 Unravelling the secrets of Mercury In 2015 the European Space Agency will launch its BepiColombo mission to Mercury. It will take the spacecraft over six years to reach the planet. Bern University is responsible for one of the biggest experiments on board. See more here... 

19/10/2012 8th BepiColombo SOWG, November 21-23, 2012
The 8th BepiColombo Science Operations Working Group Meeting will take place at ESAC from November 21st to 23rd, 2012. The meeting will start on Wednesday afternoon (14:30) with the Data Handling and Archiving Working Group section and include, on the Thursday evening, the first BepiColombo SOWG Team Building Activity.

27/08/2012 BepiColombo's Shock of Separation
The BepiColombo mission to Mercury has undergone a series of shock tests at ESA's test facilities to replicate conditions it will experience during its intense ride into space.

The spacecraft will be connected to the upper stage of an Ariane 5 rocket when it blasts off from Earth in 2015. Once the upper stage and its cargo have reached orbit, the pair will separate. Read more... 

17/08/2012 Good vibrations for BepiColombo
Mimicking the intense vibrations experienced by a satellite during launch, the engineering model of the BepiColombo mission to Mercury has been subjected to similar forces at ESA's spacecraft test facilities.

A major design issue for spacecraft arises from the intense environment experienced during launch, ranging from vigorous vibrations to deafening noise. It is essential to test spacecraft under similar conditions here on Earth, to ensure they will survive the violent ride to space. Read more... 

28/02/2012 BepiColombo to be launched in 2015
BepiColombo is now planned for launch in a window opening in August 2015. While ESA had previously been targeting a launch in July 2014, a 2015 option has always been built in to the development plan, as part of the risk mitigation strategy. Read more... 


04/01/2012 Special Issue of Planetary and Space Science
Volume 59, Issue 15 of Planetary and Space Science is devoted to papers on MESSENGER results: Mercury after the MESSENGER flybys.