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Thales Alenia Space in Switzerland has contributed to a number of European space missions, for example by developing the telescope for the CaSSIS instrument on ExoMars, the receiver for the laser altimeter on BepiColombo, and electronics for the inertial sensor on LISA Path Finder.
The BepiColombo mission is a collaboration between ESA and JAXA and consists of a pair of orbiters that will be deployed around Mercury.
* Following the launch of the European Space Agency's BepiColombo mission in October 2018, QinetiQ's T6 ion engines are now propelling the spacecraft on its seven-year voyage to Mercury.
The joint European/Japanese BepiColombo mission, launched in October, has sent two spacecraft to study which planet?
Scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) believe their BepiColombo mission to the scorched planet, scheduled for takeoff in October (with a launch window extending through November), could play a critical role in one of science's biggest quests: the search for life on other worlds.
In October or November of this year, the joint European-Japanese BepiColombo mission will launch to pick up where Messenger left off, beginning a 7-year journey to the innermost planet to solve some of Mercury's persistent mysteries.
BepiColombo was blasted into space from the European space port at Kourou, French Guiana on top of an Ariane 5, the European Space Agency's (ESA's) most powerful rocket.
The BepiColombo mission includes two spacecraft, a planetary orbiter and a magnetospheric orbiter, which, according to the European Space Agency, will need to deal with temperatures above 350 degrees Celsius during their year-long mission around the closest planet to the sun.
An unmanned European-Japanese space mission set for launch early Saturday morning from French Guiana, dubbed BepiColombo, will probe these and other mysteries.