Rosetta probe lined up nicely for Earth approach

Oct 28, 2009
Artist view of ESA's Rosetta cometary probe. The spacecraft is covered with dark thermal insulation in order to keep its warmth while venturing into the coldness of the outer Solar System, beyond Mars orbit. Credits: ESA, image by AOES Medialab

(PhysOrg.com) -- Following the first and primary trajectory correction manoeuvre 22 October, Rosetta is lined up nicely for the approach to Earth. The manoeuvre provided an 8.8 cm/s change in orbital velocity and the thruster performance was accurate. Closest approach to Earth is now scheduled for 08:45 CET on 13 November.

The results of last Thursday's trajectory correction manoeuvre (TCM) have been analysed by ESA's Flight Dynamics team at ESOC.

"The manoeuvre was very close to the predicted and required amount. We will continue to analyse the results to determine whether we will need any additional manoeuvres," said Trevor Morley, lead ESA Flight Dynamics specialist working on .

To analyse the performance, the team used data from a number of sources, including:

• Telemetry radioed down by Rosetta, including star tracker data and parameters related to fuel usage and thruster operation

• Doppler and ranging data received from the ESA and NASA ground stations that have been following Rosetta over the past few days

Based on preliminary analysis, the 86-second burn over-performed slightly, in the range of 0.06-0.07%.

As a result, the predicted time of closest approach, or perigee passage, on 13 November is 08:45:40 CET. This estimate will be updated in the next few days.

The team have slots of additional TCMs at 1 week, 1 day and 6 hours prior to closest approach at their disposal.

The tracking stations following Rosetta in the past few days include ESA's 35m DSA 1 station at New Norcia, Australia, and NASA's DSN antennas at Goldstone, California and Robledo, near Madrid.

Provided by European Space Agency (news : web)

Explore further: NASA Webb's heart survives deep freeze test

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Perfect sight: Rosetta cameras track asteroid target

Aug 18, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- On 14 August, Rosetta conducted a successful trajectory correction manoeuvre using data obtained from the Agency's first-ever optical tracking of an asteroid target, (2867) Steins. Images ...

Last visit home for ESA's comet chaser Rosetta

Oct 20, 2009

ESA's Rosetta comet chaser will swing by Earth on 13 November to pick up orbital energy and begin the final leg of its 10-year journey to the outer Solar System. Several observations of the Earth-Moon system ...

Boosting the accuracy of Rosetta's Earth approach

Oct 19, 2007

Yesterday, 18 October at 18:06 CEST, the thrusters of ESA’s comet chaser, Rosetta, were fired in a planned, 42-second trajectory correction manoeuvre designed to 'fine tune' the spacecraft's approach to ...

Rosetta correctly lined up for critical Mars swingby

Feb 15, 2007

ESA mission controllers have confirmed Rosetta is on track for a critical 250-km Mars swingby on 25 February. Engineers have started final preparations for the delicate operation, which includes an eclipse, ...

Rosetta closes in on Earth -- a second time

Nov 08, 2007

ESA’s comet chaser, Rosetta, is on its way to its second close encounter with Earth on 13 November. The spacecraft’s operators are leaving no stones unturned to make sure Earth’s gravity gives it the ...

Rosetta starts tracking asteroid Steins

Aug 04, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Heading toward its first target-asteroid, (2867) Steins, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has started using its cameras to visually track the asteroid and eventually determine its orbit with more ...

Recommended for you

NASA Webb's heart survives deep freeze test

7 hours ago

After 116 days of being subjected to extremely frigid temperatures like that in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and its sensitive instruments, ...

Cosmic rays threaten future deep-space astronaut missions

12 hours ago

Crewed missions to Mars remain an essential goal for NASA, but scientists are only now beginning to understand and characterize the radiation hazards that could make such ventures risky, concludes a new paper ...

MAVEN studies passing comet and its effects

14 hours ago

NASA's newest orbiter at Mars, MAVEN, took precautions to avoid harm from a dust-spewing comet that flew near Mars today and is studying the flyby's effects on the Red Planet's atmosphere.

How to safely enjoy the October 23 partial solar eclipse

14 hours ago

2014 – a year rich in eclipses. The Moon dutifully slid into Earth's shadow in April and October gifting us with two total lunars. Now it's the Sun's turn. This Thursday October 23 skywatchers across much ...

How to grip an asteroid

15 hours ago

For someone like Edward Fouad, a junior at Caltech who has always been interested in robotics and mechanical engineering, it was an ideal project: help develop robotic technology that could one day fly on ...

User comments : 0