Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter Proto-Flight Mechanical and Propulsion Bus undergoes bake-out
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Feb 06, 2013

The BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter Mechanical and Propulsion Bus (MPB) Proto-Flight Model inside the Phenix thermal vacuum facility. The MPB is surrounded by the thermal shroud system, which can be used to heat or cool the spacecraft. Credit: ESA - Anneke Le Floch.

The BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter Mechanical and Propulsion Bus Proto-Flight Model (the structure with integrated heat pipes and chemical propulsion subsystem) has been baked out in the Phenix thermal vacuum facility at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

The BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) Mechanical and Propulsion Bus (MPB) Proto-Flight Model (PFM) has been baked out in the Phenix thermal vacuum facility at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. T

This process involved heating the MPB to 60C in a vacuum for 20 days to remove any contaminants that would outgas in space.

Given the extremes of temperature to which BepiColombo will be exposed - in excess of 350C on the parts illuminated by the Sun, -120C or less on the parts exposed to cold space - prevention of outgassing is important because the outgassing products from the hot areas of the spacecraft may recondense on colder areas or be photochemically deposited on Sun-illuminated surfaces by ultraviolet radiation.

Contamination of thermal control surfaces would alter their absorptivity / emissivity ratios, possibly causing an uncontrolled increase in temperature.

Contamination of the solar arrays could greatly decrease their power output, while contamination of the instruments would severely degrade their optics. Molecular contamination is caused by volatiles that are released by materials such as paints, plastics and adhesives.

The Phenix thermal vacuum facility is designed for small and medium spacecraft and subsystems. The facility consists of a cylindrical vacuum chamber nearly 12 metres long and 4.5 metres in diameter, with access gained through a 4.5-metre-diameter door. The chamber is equipped with a movable box-shaped shroud system and a movable platform on which the test item is mounted.

This design enables a quicker throughput time as the movable platform and shroud enable preparation outside the chamber and rapid loading of the facility. Phenix typically achieves a vacuum of 5 + 10-6 millibar in the absence of heavily outgassing materials.

The MPB PFM will now be transported to Thales Alenia in Turin for integration of additional equipment and subsystems. These have already been subjected to a similar outgassing treatment.


Related Links
News Flash at Mercury
Mars News and Information at
Lunar Dreams and more

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Mercury's crust likely made of magnesium-rich basalt
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 31, 2013
With both x-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers, the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging probe (MESSENGER), which entered orbit around Mercury in 2011, is well equipped for carrying out a detailed compositional analysis of Mercury's crust, the understanding of which could help determine the nature of the planet's formation, and of its volcanic past. Using spectrometric ... read more

Building a lunar base with 3D printing

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Russia to Launch Lunar Mission in 2015

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Mapping Mars

Weekend Test on Mars Was Preparation to Drill a Rock

AAS Division For Planetary Sciences Issues Statement On Mars 2020 Program

Curiosity Maneuver Prepares for Drilling

Supersonic skydiver even faster than thought

Ahmadinejad says ready to be Iran's first spaceman

Iran's Bio-Capsule Comes Back from Space

A Hero For Humankind: Yuri Gagarin's Spaceflight

Reshuffle for Tiangong

China to launch 20 spacecrafts in 2013

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

NASA to Send Inflatable Pod to International Space Station

ISS to get inflatable module

ESA workhorse to power NASA's Orion spacecraft

Competition Hopes To Fine Tune ISS Solar Array Shadowing

Final checkout underway for the Starsem Soyuz launch with Globalstar spacecraft

Zenit Engine Worked Normally

NASA Launches Rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia

Intelsat 27 Launch Unsuccessful

Are Super-Earths Actually Mini-Neptunes?

Herschel Finds Past-Prime Star May Be Making Planets

Stars can be late parents

Researchers develop model for identifying habitable zones around star

South Korean Satellite Makes First Contact with Ground

Novel materials shake ship scum

Penn Research Shows Mechanism Behind Wear at the Atomic Scale

NTU research embraces laser and sparks cool affair

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement