ESA Science & Technology - Publication Archive
SMILE (Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer) was selected from a pool of 13 potential missions that were proposed to the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) as a result of a joint call for mission concepts in June 2015.
Following its selection in November 2015, detailed studies were performed by ESA, CAS, three European industrial contractors and the Science Study Team to finalise the mission architecture, including the space and ground elements that are required to fulfil the science requirements. This report, also known as the Red Book, summarizes the SMILE definition study.
This document presents the activities in the Science Core Technology Programme (CTP) and in the Technology Development Element (TDE, replacing the TRP) of the Discovery, Preparation & Technology Development Basic Activities supporting the implementation of ESA's Science Programme. The national initiatives activities of relevance to the Science programme are provided for information.
This document is provided for information only and is subject to future updates.
Download this interactive media kit to learn more about the launch of BepiColombo on 20 October 2018, the spacecraft's seven year journey to Mercury, and the science goals of the mission.
BepiColombo science themes
From Messenger to BepiColombo
Mercury Planetary Orbiter's science instruments
Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter's science instruments
Launch and separation timeline
Mercury Transfer Module cameras
Journey to Mercury
Venus flyby science operations
Arrival at Mercury
Operating in extreme environments
Quick look Mercury facts
Update 10 October 2018: Updated figure on pages 8 and 12.
Update 18 October 2018: Inserted new page 11 (MTM cameras), updated figure on pages 8, 9, 13 and 16, changed "MMO-MAG" to "MMO-MGF" throughout, added link to cartoon video, changed email address for University of Leicester contact (page 22).
Update 08 April 2020: A new version was released containing an updated version of the journey graphic on p12.
To download the pdf file (14 MB) click on the image or on the link to publication below.
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Document reference: CDF-183(C)
ESA's Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) has completed an assessment study of the Quantum Physics PlatForm: a mission concept to test the quantum superposition principle with "massive" test particles. ESA's Science Directorate requested and managed the study as one of three topics selected for investigation following the "New Science Ideas" call for proposals.
The concept studied was a proposal to perform quantum decoherence measurements with particles of more than 109 atomic mass units.
The main goal of the study was to provide a reference mission design for such a quantum physics experiment, and to inform the community of the ESA process of requirements engineering in view of future calls for missions in ESA's Science Programme.