Recovery Opportunities for the BepiColombo Mission to Mercury

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P. De Pascale; D. Garcia Yarnoz; R. Jehn (2009), JBIS, 62, 362-368

Refcode: 2009.62.362
Keywords: Mercury, electric propulsion, recovery strategies

ESA's BepiColombo is the first mission to fly to Mercury by using solar electric propulsion as primary propulsion system. The trajectory makes use of complex solutions, such as a moon swing-by, many inner planets swing-bys and gravitational capture in order to maximize the payload mass delivered at Mercury. The complexity of such a mission requires a thorough analysis of possible failure scenarios, in order to achieve a robust mission design which might successfully cope with critical events during the flight to Mercury. This paper deals with the analysis of failure scenarios along the BepiColombo trajectory. It proposes different failure mitigation strategies which allow recovering the mission and successfully reaching the final target.

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