2 August 2018
SPACE reports that a joint ESA/JAXA mission to Mercury now “has a scheduled start date,” and will launch no earlier than October 18 aboard an Ariane 5 rocket launched from French Guiana. The Ariane 5 will carry “two spacecraft that will travel to Mercury together: ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter.” The spacecraft will measure Mercury’s “interior, environment and interactions with the stream of charged particles from the sun.” However, the ESA “cautioned that the date is subject to change due to last-minute testing of the spacecraft in Kourou.” The mission’s launch window can be extended until November 29, if required. (Image: Ariane 5 ECA lifts off, carrying a payload of satellites, in Kourou, French Guiana, Saturday Feb.12, 2005. Credit: Associated Press-©)
More Info (SPACE)