BepiColombo Science Investigations During Cruise and Flybys at the Earth, Venus and Mercury

Valeria Mangano*, Melinda Dósa, Markus Fränz, Anna Milillo, Joana S. Oliveira, Yeon Joo Lee, Susan McKenna-Lawlor, Davide Grassi, Daniel Heyner, Alexander S. Kozyrev, Roberto Peron, Jörn Helbert, Sebastien Besse, Sara de la Fuente, Elsa Montagnon, Joe Zender, Martin Volwerk, Jean Yves Chaufray, James A. Slavin, Harald KrügerAlessandro Maturilli, Thomas Cornet, Kazumasa Iwai, Yoshizumi Miyoshi, Marco Lucente, Stefano Massetti, Carl A. Schmidt, Chuanfei Dong, Francesco Quarati, Takayuki Hirai, Ali Varsani, Denis Belyaev, Jun Zhong, Emilia K.J. Kilpua, Bernard V. Jackson, Dusan Odstrcil, Ferdinand Plaschke, Rami Vainio, Riku Jarvinen, Stavro Lambrov Ivanovski, Ákos Madár, Géza Erdős, Christina Plainaki, Tommaso Alberti, Sae Aizawa, Johannes Benkhoff, Go Murakami, Eric Quemerais, Harald Hiesinger, Igor G. Mitrofanov, Luciano Iess, Francesco Santoli, Stefano Orsini, Herbert Lichtenegger, Gunther Laky, Stas Barabash, Richard Moissl, Juhani Huovelin, Yasumasa Kasaba, Yoshifumi Saito, Masanori Kobayashi, Wolfgang Baumjohann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

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Abstract

The dual spacecraft mission BepiColombo is the first joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to explore the planet Mercury. BepiColombo was launched from Kourou (French Guiana) on October 20th, 2018, in its packed configuration including two spacecraft, a transfer module, and a sunshield. BepiColombo cruise trajectory is a long journey into the inner heliosphere, and it includes one flyby of the Earth (in April 2020), two of Venus (in October 2020 and August 2021), and six of Mercury (starting from 2021), before orbit insertion in December 2025. A big part of the mission instruments will be fully operational during the mission cruise phase, allowing unprecedented investigation of the different environments that will encounter during the 7-years long cruise. The present paper reviews all the planetary flybys and some interesting cruise configurations. Additional scientific research that will emerge in the coming years is also discussed, including the instruments that can contribute.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
Number of pages81
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Volume217
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Keywords

  • BepiColombo
  • Cruise
  • Earth
  • Flyby
  • Mercury
  • Venus

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