Trajectory for the Bepi-Colombo Mission for Mercury

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D. Garcia Yamoz; R. Jehn; P. de Pascale (2007), JBIS, 60, 202-208

Refcode: 2007.60.202
Keywords: Bepi-Colombo, interplanetary trajectory design, mission analysis, Mercury, low-thrust

BepiColombo will be the first European mission to Mercury and the first mission ever to use solar electric propulsion to reach an inner planet. The trajectory proposed, departing from Earth on August 2013, comprises five planetary flybys (one at Earth, two at Venus and two at Mercury) as well as a series of low-thrust arcs that allow the delivery of two orbiters to the planet six years later. This paper presents the design of the overall trajectory, starting from a highly eccentric Earth orbit up to the polar orbits of the MMO (Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter, JAXA) and the MPO (Mercury Planetary Orbiter, ESA). Results for the interplanetary trajectory optimisation, including the lunar flyby design, as well as the approach, recovery and insertion strategies are presented.

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