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Europe flies to Mercury: BepiColombo mission agreement signed
Today an important milestone was reached with the signing of the agreement for the development phase of the Mercury mission BepiColombo by the European Space Agency (ESA) and its main contractor, Astrium GmbH in Friedrichshafen. The BepiColombo project involves two satellites flying to Mercury at the same time: A Japanese planetary probe that will investigate Mercury’s magnetosphere will commence the trip together with the European craft. The satellites are scheduled for launch in 2013 from Kourou, French Guiana using a Soyuz-Fregat rocket and carry out their scientific surveying programme from 2019 while orbiting Mercury. The German Aerospace Center’s (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research is taking part in the scientific aspect of the mission.
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Created: 18/01/2008 18:30:00