BepiColombo Simulation Units

Prototech delivers simulation units for BepiColombo, an ESA mission to explore the planet Mercury in collaboration with the Japanese space agency, JAXA. Launch is planned to take place during a one month long window starting on 27 January 2017.

BepiColombo Simulation Units

After the spacecraft containing the two space probes are launched, it takes another six years for the probes to reach their destination. The space probes are created from materials which can survive extreme conditions and contains equipment that has to function for many years in a very inhospitable environment. CMR Prototech delivered 87 simulation dummies that are used during ground tests to ensure that the space probe will operate successfully after launch and when in space. The units were delivered in 2012 to the Italian company Thales Alenia Space Italia.

BepiColombo will explore Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun. Europe's space scientists have identified the mission as one of the most challenging long-term planetary projects, because Mercury's proximity to the Sun makes it difficult for a spacecraft to reach and survive in the harsh environment. The scientific interest to go to Mercury lies in the valuable clues that such a mission can provide in understanding the planet itself as well as the formation of our Solar System; clues which cannot be obtained with distant observations from Earth. The mission will consist of two separate spacecraft that will orbit the planet. ESA is building one of the main spacecraft, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO), and JAXA will contribute the other, the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO).



  • Period

    2009 - 2012

  • Client

    Thales Alenia Space Italia

  • Country