Zurich, 14 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.
European market leader in thermal insulation
RUAG Space is Europe's market leader in the field of thermal insulation. Almost every European satellite is protected from extreme heat and cold in space by thermal insulation manufactured in Austria. In addition to thermal insulation, RUAG Space will also supply mechanisms, electronics including launcher on-board computers, payload fairing as well as ground support equipment and satellite containers for BepiColombo.
About RUAG Space
RUAG Space is the leading supplier to the space industry in Europe, with a growing presence in the United States. With more than 1,400 staff across six countries, it develops and manufactures products for satellites and launch vehicles – playing a key role both in the institutional and commercial space market. RUAG Space is a division of the international technology Group RUAG. RUAG develops and markets internationally sought-after technology applications in the fields of aerospace and defence for use on land, in the air and in space. 56% of RUAG's products and services are destined for the civil market and 44% for the military market. The Group is headquartered in Bern (Switzerland). It has production sites in Switzerland and in 15 other countries in Europe, the USA and Asia-Pacific. RUAG generates sales of approximately CHF 1.96 billion and has over 9,200 employees – 400 of whom are trainees.
Image credits and description
Photo 1: The Mercury spacecraft BepiColombo is currently outfitted with thermal insulation from RUAG Space. Copyright: © ESA–B. Guillaume. Download picture.
Photo 2: “Almost all European satellites are protected from the extreme cold and heat in space by thermal insulation from RUAG Space,” says Jörgen Remmelg, SVP Spacecraft, RUAG Space. Copyright: © RUAG Space. Download picture.
Photo 3: BepiColombo is set to explore Mercury in October. (artist’s impression of the planned approach to Mercury). Copyright: ESA/ATG medialab; Mercury: NASA/JPL. Download picture.
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This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union and/or ESA.