ESA delays the launches of BepiColombo and Solar Orbiter

The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced new launch dates for two space missions to which IRF is contributing, the BepiColombo mission to Mercury and the Solar Orbiter mission to the sun.

The launch of BepiColombo, ESA's mission to explore the planet Mercury in collaboration with the Japanese space agency, JAXA, is now planned to take place during a one month long window starting on 27 January 2017. IRF is providing three instruments on BepiColombo, two from Kiruna and one from Uppsala; IRF will have instruments on both the European and the Japanese spacecraft.

The launch of Solar Orbiter, ESA's mission to explore the Sun in unprecedented detail, is now planned to take place in October 2018 (the launch was previously targeted for July 2017). IRF in Uppsala is contributing to the RPW instrument, Radio and Plasma Waves, led by LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, France.

Artist's impression of BepiColombo
Artist's impression of BepiColombo (Image: ESA)

Artist's impression of Solar Orbiter
Artist's impression of Solar Orbiter (Image: ESA)

More information from ESA on BepiColombo:
More information from ESA on Solar Orbiter:

Created 2015-04-14 13:34:13 by Rick McGregor
Last changed 2015-04-14 13:47:33 by Rick McGregor

The Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) is a governmental research institute which conducts research and postgraduate education in atmospheric physics, space physics and space technology. Measurements are made in the atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere and around other planets with the help of ground-based equipment (including radar), stratospheric balloons and satellites. IRF was established (as Kiruna Geophysical Observatory) in 1957 and its first satellite instrument was launched in 1968. The head office is in Kiruna (geographic coordinates 67.84° N, 20.41° E) and IRF also has offices in Umeå, Uppsala and Lund.