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BepiColombo double probe visit to Mercury


lajoswinkler
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I like how ESA uses animation and anthropomorphized characters now.

This mission launched last night (UTC time) and will take seven years for the spacecraft complex to gradually bleed off kinetic energy by multiple encounters with Earth, Venus and Mercury itself. Hopefully everything turns out fine.

Who knows what'll be the state of KSP in seven years...

 

 

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BepiColombo's mission illustrates perfectly why getting to our KSP analogue, Moho, is so painfully hard on delta-V.

Moho sits deep in the sun's gravity well. Orbital speed is high. Worse, your descent there will also be high as you speed up due to Kerbol's gravity.

While it's moderately possible to try BepiColumbo's trick by using gravity assists to slow your approach in the game, KSP's scale size, I hear, makes this less effective.

Here's a very good article on the challenges of getting to Mercury (BepiColombo is only the third ever probe to go there) on The Space Review. It also tells more about the probe's namesake, who would've loved KSP.

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14 hours ago, lajoswinkler said:

I like how ESA uses animation and anthropomorphized characters now.

Given this is a double mission along with JAXA, it might have been their request. JAXA always pumps up their stuff cheerfully.

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2 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Nice! 

Haven't seen this thread before; wondering if the 'octo' shape is a nod to KSP?

(or is the KSP octo due to its being a common shape for probes?) 

It's definitely the other way around, referencing video games isn't on the engineers' radar.

KSP, on the other hand, references a lot of real life spacecraft designs, and the octo-shaped probe cores is probably an example of that.

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12 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Nice! 

Haven't seen this thread before; wondering if the 'octo' shape is a nod to KSP?

(or is the KSP octo due to its being a common shape for probes?) 

OCTO was a thing before this mission, however, some of the newer parts (magnetometer boom, MPO probe, MTM stage, 2.5 m tank decals, 1.875 m SRBS) were made in collaboration with ESA so that you could recreate this mission in KSP

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1 hour ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Haven't seen this thread before; wondering if the 'octo' shape is a nod to KSP?

(or is the KSP octo due to its being a common shape for probes?) 

It was squared, but they cut off the corners to match the shroud.

Edited by kerbiloid
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