Scientists have announced the threat of power outages in space

19.05.2024/14/30 XNUMX:XNUMX    689

The BepiColombo mission, a joint project of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), faces serious challenges. Problems with the electricity powering the spacecraft's engines could halt their planned exploration of Mercury.

Launched in October 2018, the BepiColombo mission aimed to study Mercury's surface and interior, as well as its magnetic field. But for now, the ship is facing an unexpected hurdle — the transition module that provides thrust for navigation has proven unable to generate enough electricity to keep the engines running at full power.

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The problem comes ahead of an important maneuver scheduled for April 26 and leaves the mission at risk of disruption. So far, the mission team has been able to restore the spacecraft's thrust to about 90% of its previous level, but the power problem has not yet been fully resolved.

The spacecraft plans to perform its fourth gravity maneuver in September before finally entering Mercury's orbit. Using the planet's gravity allows the ship to slow down and enter orbit, but any delays or lack of energy can derail this plan.

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ESA hopes that maintaining the current power level will allow the spacecraft to successfully reach Mercury and carry out the planned maneuver. Meanwhile, the flight control team in Germany is trying to identify the root cause of the power problem in order to ensure the continued stability of the mission.