MERCURY MISSION: The European Space Agency’s (ESA) manned spaceflight and exploration directorate program board is moving forward with a restructured plan for the BepiColombo mission to Mercury that should make it possible to meet mission objectives without unacceptable budget risk. BepiColombo will be launched in 2014 in cooperation with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Problems developing cutting-edge technologies — solar electric propulsion, thermal protection and solar arrays — ...

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