Zurich, 19 June 2018. This October, the BepiColombo spacecraft, a joint project between the European and Japanese space agencies ESA and Jaxa, will launch from the European spaceport, Kourou, in French Guiana. The spacecraft will explore Mercury, the smallest planet in the solar system, and is currently being outfitted in a heat protection suit from RUAG Space, the leading supplier to the space industry in Europe.
The white thermal insulation was manufactured in Berndorf, Austria. The outside surface consists of high-temperature insulation made of ceramic fibers and will protect the spacecraft from the extreme temperatures in space and will also serve as protection against micrometeorites. “Mercury is the planet closest to the sun, so the spacecraft will have to withstand extreme heat of over 450 degrees Celsius”, explains Jörgen Remmelg, SVP Spacecraft, RUAG Space.