Nog ffquote:Op zondag 17 december 2017 16:40 schreef Prisha het volgende:
7-12-2017: Laatste test BepiColombo Mercury Transfer module gecompleteerd en nog steeds on track voor de Oktober 2018 launch
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The BepiColombo Mercury Transfer Module has completed its final major test inside ESA’s Large Space Simulator, proving it will be able to withstand the temperature extremes it will experience on its journey to Mercury
During the latest tests, carried out between 24 November and 4 December 2017, the module was rotated through 13º either side to monitor the heating and distribution. The ion engines were also activated – without creating thrust from an ion beam given the confines of the test chamber – to confirm that the module's electric propulsion system can operate in this challenging environment
The transfer module’s job is to carry ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter and Japan’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter to the planet, where they will separate and enter their respective orbits. The craft will use a combination of gravity assist flybys at Earth, Venus and Mercury along with the transfer module’s ion thrusters to reach its destination.
The module will now be checked before the entire assembly is shipped to Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana next year. With this last major test complete, the mission is on track to be launched in the two-month window opening on 5 October 2018.
(bron: Esa int)