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It's Two Spacecraft, One Mission as BepiColombo gets ready to launch

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Happy

Nice of ESA/JAXA

To give all space enthusiasts in the Netherlands a Sinterklaas present in 2025. Looking forward to it. Fingers crossed for a successful launch and journey

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Remember the mystery goo container

And either a second one, opposed, for balance, or an RCS port and a Reverse Gravioli Detector.

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Re: Remember the mystery goo container

Stories like this always make me want to fire up my copy of KSP.

There's nothing worse than making it all the way to a hard to reach planet and then realising you forgot to add landing gear.

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Re: Remember the mystery goo container

Stories like this always make me want to fire up my copy of KSP.

I've caught the bug again. Been deploying a fleet of landers to tackle Jool's moons. Got to design my recovery craft and then wait for my launch window.

Also recovering a stranded Kerbal from the Mun for my son...

Go, Jeb! Go!

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Re: Remember the mystery goo container

I've been trying to do docking in orbit, and damn that is hard. So many spacecraft fragments floating around :-(

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Re: Remember the mystery goo container

I've been trying to do docking in orbit, and damn that is hard.

Eventually it's worth just installing MechJeb.

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FAIL

JWST?

2021 for James Webb? Your'e having a laaf. That's about as likely as Berlin Brandenburg being open by then.

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Anonymous Coward

It's going to be a nervous November....

Once we've got over the one in twenty probability of failure during launch and boost, it ain't over.

The thrusters on the MTM aren't due to be switched on until a month after launch, so there's going to be a very large bunch of people turning very blue holding their breath over the next few weeks.

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LDS
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Not only Venus flyby - but passing near Mercury three times.

What Colombo proposed and NASA quickly adopted and achieved was to use a trajectory that would have allowed three fly-by instead of the planned single one - taking advantage of Mercury orbit resonance.

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Anonymous Coward

> ESA’s hefty MPO, weighing in at 1,150kg upon arrival at Mercury

Do you mean that it's a mass of 1150kg which weights 11270N on Earth but will weigh 4255N on Mercury?

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No, I assume they mean that the spacecraft will be down to 1.15kg by the time it reaches Mercury from all the bits it keeps dropping off and the fuel it's burned in order to get there.

So the 1st stage weighs something like 190 tonnes + 2 x 277 tonne solid rocket boosters + an upper stage, normally used to get to geostationery transfer orbit with 10 tonnes of propellant. All to get about a 10 tonne payload to GTO. But I assume it'll be different on this mission, using most of the payload weight as fuel in order to get to Mercury. We're talking nearly 700 tonnes of stuff, to get just over 1 tonne to orbit Mercury.

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I think the point he was making is that weight depends on gravity which varies with the size of the planet you are on, or is zero in space. Mass is however constant wherever you happen to be.

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Boffin

Gravity is never zero. It can be minuscule, but never zero.

But the point remains that mass and weight are not universally proportional.

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"Gravity is never zero. It can be minuscule, but never zero."

If the universe is expanding, that implies an edge which implies a centre of mass. I wonder what the effect of gravity is at the zero point?

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> "We're talking nearly 700 tonnes of stuff, to get just over 1 tonne to orbit Mercury."

And that's AFTER including all the gravity assists as well. For a nearby planet, Mercury sure is hard to reach! It would be easy if the Sun wasn't bending space so much.

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> "If the universe is expanding, that implies an edge which implies a centre of mass."

Current theory says that it's space itself that is expanding, and there is no "outside" for it to expand into. I gather that if you could travel long enough in a "straight" line you'd find yourself back where you started, but even that is impossible because space is expanding faster than light speed. In fact we can only ever observe a small portion of the whole thing.

Basically the universe is very weird, but we knew that.

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Basically the universe is very weird, but we knew that.

Then it should damn well stop being weird and behave normally! And it should get a bloody good haircut and stop listening to that awful music. You can't hear the words, and you don't know if the singer is Martha or Arther.

In my day universes had to make their own entertainment...

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Don't forget your sunscreen

Always good advice at least when heading for Mercury.

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Happy

Re: Don't forget your sunscreen

How much is a bottle of factor 3,000,000 again? And how often do you have to re-apply it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't forget your sunscreen

We don't need as we will just go at night!

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Ariane 6 --

Wow: the web page for the Ariane 6 includes a 14Mb PDF user manual.

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Re: Ariane 6 --

Fabulous:-

"2.4.5. Earth escape missions "

"To be provided later"

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LDS
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""To be provided later"

"We're booked already to escape first - maybe we'll give instruction to you later..."

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