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Waspie_Dwarf

Electric blue thrusters

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Waspie_Dwarf

Electric blue thrusters propelling BepiColombo to Mercury

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In mid-December, twin discs will begin glowing blue on the underside of a minibus-sized spacecraft in deep space. At that moment Europe and Japan’s BepiColombo mission will have just come a crucial step closer to Mercury.

This week sees the in-flight commissioning and test firing of the four thrusters – with one or two firing at a time – of the Solar Electric Propulsion System that BepiColombo relies on to reach the innermost planet. This marks the first in-flight operation of the most powerful and highest-performance electric propulsion system flown on any space mission to date.

arrow3.gif  Read More: ESA

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Waspie_Dwarf

BepiColombo’s first routine firing in space

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18 December 2018 On Monday this week, BepiColombo began its very first routine electric propulsion firing.

After meticulous testing of the spacecraft's four high-tech ion thrusters, the mission team have now fired up the spacecraft for its first thruster burn ‘arc’.

arrow3.gif  Read More: ESA

 

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