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Accueil > A propos du LPP > Communication > Actualités archivées > 2018 > LPP on its way to Mercury !

LPP on its way to Mercury !

During the night of 19th to 20th of October, the Ariane 5 launcher successfully lifted off from the Guiana Space Centre to let Bepi Colombo start its long journey towards Mercury. Two instruments designed and made by LPP are onboard !

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Lancement de BepiColombo sur Ariane 5
©2018 ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE/Optique Vidéo du CSG - JM Guillon

Bepi Colombo is a joined mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Its goal is to unlock the mysteries of the least well known telluric planet of our Solar System : Mercury.

The study of planetary magnetospheres and their interaction with the solar wind is a central thematic of the LPP Space Plasma team. As such, our laboratory is a member of two consortia : Plasma Wave Instrument (PWI) and Mercury Plasma Particle Experiment (MPPE) onboard one of the two probes of this mission, the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) for which we have the responsibility of two instruments with CNES support :

- MSA (Mass Spectrum Analyzer) is an instrument dedicated to measurements of the plasma composition. Its main goals are the study of the solar wind and of the material ejected from Mercury’s surface, the study of ion transport and acceleration in the magnetosphere, and the study of the interaction of the magnetospheric plasma with the planet surface and exosphere.

- The Dual-Band Search Coil magnetometer (DB-SC) will measure high frequency fluctuations (waves) of the magnetic field. It will perform measurements of the B vector of electromagnetic waves in the low frequency band as well as measurements of an electromagnetic wave component in the high frequency band.

We are waiting for the first signs of our instruments when they will be switched on for commissioning and for the first Venus fly-by in October 2020.

Rendez-vous in 7 years when the probes will be placed into orbit around Mercury !

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Modèle de vol de MSA
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Modèle de vol du Search-Coil de Bepi Colombo (DB-SC est l’antenne axiale Z)

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Tutelles : CNRS Ecole Polytechnique Sorbonne Université Université Paris Sud Observatoire de Paris Convention : CEA
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Hébergeur : Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, Ecole Polytechnique route de Saclay F-91128 PALAISEAU CEDEX
Directeur de la publication : Pascal Chabert (Directeur)