Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now Join Now!

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

   Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

BepiColombo's launch date has slipped to August 2015

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

29-02-2012 8:55 CST

Topics: mission status, BepiColombo

ESA announced this morning that the launch of their BepiColombo mission, a cooperative effort with JAXA, has been delayed from its originally planned July 2014 to the backup launch window in August 2015, stating by way of explanation that "The industrial contractors (led by Astrium GmbH in Friedrichshafen, Germany) working with ESA on the mission have recently assessed the current status of the development of these items and have concluded that the first launch window of July 2014 can no longer be met." Building a spacecraft for the difficult thermal conditions at Mercury is a major, new challenge for both ESA and JAXA.

The article did not state what this means for BepiColombo's arrival date. It's not straightforward because BepiColombo will be ion propelled, so (as we've seen with Dawn), the dates of mission milestones can shift by quite a lot, depending upon the exact in-space performance of the power and propulsion systems.

BepiColombo at Mercury

ESA - AOES Medialab

BepiColombo at Mercury
 
See other posts from February 2012

 

Or read more blog entries about: mission status, BepiColombo

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

JOIN THE
PLANETARY SOCIETY

Our Curiosity Knows No Bounds!

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Us

Featured Images

The atmospheres of the Solar System

Aricia Tholus, Vesta
3D view of Aricia Tholus, Vesta
Globular cluster M4
More Images

Featured Video

View Larger »

Fly to an Asteroid!

Travel to Bennu on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft!

Send your name

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!