August 28, 2012
Simulating BepiColombo’s Separation Shock
Shock testing of the BepiColombo structural and thermal model, shown in real time and presented again in slow motion afterwards. In this test, the spacecraft model is exposed to the shocks it will experience when BepiColombo separates from the upper stage of an Ariane 5 launcher during its voyage into space. At the signal, the launch vehicle assembly unit is released onto blocks of foam rubber while accelerometers mounted on the spacecraft measure the effect of the shock. The test was carried out in the test centre at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.