Kerbal Space Program, a space flight simulator video game, has launches its new Shared Horizons update across the European frontier. Reportedly, this new update would allow players to recreate ESA (European Space Agency) missions to Mercury and to a comet as well as add a new rocket in the inventory.
As per reports, the latest Shared Horizons update includes the Rosetta comet mission and the prolific European Ariane 5 launch vehicle, BepiColombo, which took flight in 2004 and ended in 2016, following the deliberate crash-landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In addition to this, the Rosetta mission also launched a lander dubbed Philae on 67P's surface.
Speaking on the development, Elsa Montagnon, spacecraft operations manager, BepiColombo Mercury mission, said that she believes it is a good idea to feature this mission in the game. Kerbal comes as an ideal platform for making space accessible to those who aren’t from this field. The latest missions in the game would give people a sense of all the exciting stuff that can be possible to implement in real life while playing Kerbal.
For the record, Elsa Montagnon was involved in BepiColombo, a collaboration with JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) since the early stages of mission planning in 2007. Currently, Montagnon is with the team responsible for communicating with the spacecraft stack thrice per week to steer the shuttle through nine planetary flybys. Meanwhile, the team collects data from a subset of instruments once a week.
As of October, BepiColombo's next flyby would be Venus, which would later be followed by an engine firing in late July. If everything goes as per the plan, BepiColombo would be able to successfully enter Mercury's orbit by the end of 2025. After this, an exploration would begin with two separate spacecraft, namely the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter and the Mercury Planetary Orbiter.