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2012-12-05 12:08:04

Thales Alenia Space signs the final contract with Astrium GmbH:
Subsystems and Integration tasks for BepiColombo Mercury Probe

Thales Alenia Space today signed a contract worth about 200 million euros with Astrium GmbH for BepiColombo, the European spacecraft designed to explore Mercury. The two companies first signed an ATP (Authorization To Proceed) in 2007, kicking off work on this program.

Thales Alenia Space Italia is part of the industrial Core Team, coordinating 35 European manufacturers within its workpackage. The contract concerns the telecommunications, thermal control and electric power distribution systems, along with satellite integration and testing, plus support during the launch campaign. In addition, Thales Alenia Space Italia is developing the X- and Ka-band transponders, onboard computer, mass memory and high-gain antenna, a 1.1 meter diameter satellite dish that will enable the satellite to communicate with Earth, while also carrying out a Radio Science experiment during the mission. It is a further development of the antenna used on the well-known Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn.

BepiColombo is a joint Europe-Japan mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA), with Astrium GmbH as prime contractor. The mission's primary goal is the detailed study of the planet Mercury and its environment. It is one of ESA's most ambitious scientific missions. The launch is scheduled for mid-2015 from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, using an Ariane 5 launch vehicle.



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