Rosetta right on track for Earth swing-by

November 13, 2007
This is an artist’s rendition of Rosetta’s closest approach to Earth during its second swing-by of our planet on 13 November this year. The image shows the fly-by configuration as seen from below. Credit: ESA

Preparations for Rosetta’s Earth swing-by scheduled for tonight, 21:57 CET, are well underway. The manoeuvre executed on 18 October 2007 has been accurate enough to not require any additional trajectory corrections today.

This means that the most critical operational procedures for the success of the swing-by are now over. However, the operations teams are constantly on the watch to make sure that nothing disturbs the spacecraft’s velocity and direction and that its stability is maintained throughout the observations.

The core observations will start only in the afternoon, but the instruments are already being prepared for the delicate procedures. The spacecraft has been pointed to certain areas in the sky for calibration and this will continue for about 24 hours. During the swing-by, Rosetta will first point to Earth and will observe the Earth-Moon system as a whole afterwards.

Source: European Space Agency

Related Stories

Recommended for you

A mission to a metal world—The Psyche mission

October 9, 2015

In their drive to set exploration goals for the future, NASA's Discovery Program put out the call for proposals for their thirteenth Discovery mission in February 2014. After reviewing the 27 initial proposals, a panel of ...

What are white holes?

October 9, 2015

Black holes are created when stars die catastrophically in a supernova. So what in the universe is a white hole?

Image: Pluto's blue sky

October 9, 2015

Pluto's haze layer shows its blue color in this picture taken by the New Horizons Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). The high-altitude haze is thought to be similar in nature to that seen at Saturn's moon ...

How to prepare for Mars? NASA consults Navy sub force

October 5, 2015

As NASA contemplates a manned voyage to Mars and the effects missions deeper into space could have on astronauts, it's tapping research from another outfit with experience sending people to the deep: the U.S. Navy submarine ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Nov 13, 2007
Re image caption; "below"? Hmmm, odd gravitational orientation.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.