Wednesday, January 30, 2008 (subscri
Guardian Unlimited, UK - Jan 27, 2008
... a similar shield to protect them from the solar wind, a stream of high-energy charged particles from the sun travelling faster than the speed of sound. ...
Sun Shield to Protect Mars Astronauts Alalam News Network
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€1 billion ESA/JAXA Mercury mission faces keys tests

Key technical milestones have yet to be achieved for the €1 billion ($1.46 billion) joint European Space Agency/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Mercury mission BepiColombo, while a €350 million contract is signed with its spacecraft's manufacturer EADS Astrium.

The spacecraft is to be launched by an Arianespace/Starsem Soyuz 2-1b in 2013. On reaching Mercury in 2019 it will separate into four parts: the Mercury transfer module (MTM), two orbiters, ESA's Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and JAXA's Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) with the sun shield that protects it during the journey. The orbiters will survey the planet for up to two years.

The key milestones include determining the separation method for the MPO from the MTM, completing technology progammes such as the solar arrays' rotation joints and ensuring the Soyuz 2-1b can be launched from French Guiana.

ESA's BepiColombo project manager Jan van Casteren says: "We have a guarantee that the 2-1b will launch from [its Sinnamary launch complex in] French Guiana by 2013."

UK Trade & Investment
Oxfordshire scientists create space 'sunshield
UK Trade & Investment, UK - Jan 29, 2008
A team of UK scientists have developed a unique sunshield which could be used in space travel to protect shuttles from solar wind. ...
Mercury's Magnetosphere Fends Off The Solar Wind
Science Daily (press release) - 1 hour ago
It's possible that the magnetosphere shield has holes. Scientists found ions in the magnetosphere that may have been knocked off the surface by the solar ...


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