BepiColombo Planetary Orbiter Payload Selection
18 Nov 2004With the approval of the Solar System Working Group (SSWG), Solar System Advisory Committee (SSAC) and Science Programme Committee (SPC), the selected payload for the Mercury Planetary Orbiter now enters the final stages of the definition phase.
On 26 February 2004, ESA issued the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) payload request for proposals. On 15 May 2004 the proposals were received and evaluated by the international Payload Review Committee (PRC), assisted by the ESTEC teams and the industrial definition study contractors.
The PRC issued its final recommendation with a proposed payload selection and presented this to the SSWG on 12 - 13 October and to the SSAC on 19 - 20 October. Both the SSWG and SSAC have approved the proposed MPO payload selection.
The Science Programme Committee, during its meeting on 9 - 10 November 2004, unanimously approved the proposed payload complement and this selection will now be taken by the project team for the finalisation of the definition phase and for the implementation phase.
Selected MPO payload
1The feasibility of the laser altimeter has to be demonstrated before November 2005, after which BELA can then be confirmed as part of the payload.
2For the gamma-ray spectrometer there are two proposals (MGNS or MANGA). Both proposals present technical risks and the feasibility have to be demonstrated before November 2005. The MGNS, which has the lower impact on resources, is the preferred solution, and it will be confirmed as part of the payload if its feasibility is confirmed.