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BEpiColombo Mercury mission suffers thruster problem
Posted: Sun, May 19, 2024, 7:55 AM ET (1155 GMT)
BepiColombo orbiter and lander (ESA) Engineers are troubleshooting a problem with the electric propulsion system on the BepiColombo mission. That spacecraft, a joint mission of ESA and JAXA, will go into orbit around Mercury after performing several flybys, using electric thrusters to adjust its trajectory. Those thrusters lost power last month just before the next scheduled maneuver. By last week the thrusters were back to 90% of their original power, but the spacecraft is still suffering from reduced electrical power. ESA said that BepiColombo should still be able to perform its next Mercury flyby in September as engineers work to determine how reduced power levels might affect future maneuvers if the problem cannot be fixed.
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