Rosetta's final Earth boost

Nov 04, 2009
ESA Rosetta Flight Control Team in action during the encounter with asteroid Steins in 2008. Credit: ESA/ D.Scuka

ESA's comet chaser Rosetta will swing by Earth for the last time on 13 November to pick up energy and begin the final leg of its 10-year journey to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. ESA's European Space Operations Centre will host a media briefing on that day.

This will be the third swingby, the last of Rosetta's four planetary gravity assists. Closest approach to Earth is expected at 08:45 CET (07:45 UT). The swingby will provide exactly the boost Rosetta needs to continue into the outer Solar System. The spacecraft is scheduled for a close encounter with asteroid 21 Lutetia in July next year, before it goes into hibernation early in 2011, only to wake up in early 2014 for approach to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

As the most primitive objects in the Solar System, the chemical composition of comets has not changed much since their formation. They preserve a record of the early .

When it reaches 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, Rosetta will be the first mission to orbit and deploy a lander on a . It will help to reconstruct the history of our neighbourhood in .

More information: Last visit home for ESA's comet chaser Rosetta

Source: European Space Agency (news : web)

Explore further: Space sex geckos at risk as Russia loses control of satellite

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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 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 successfully swings-by Mars

Feb 25, 2007

There was considerable relief today at ESA's Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany. In the early hours, spacecraft controllers, flight dynamics experts, engineers and scientists were able to ...

ESA's comet chaser to fly by Earth

Feb 23, 2005

ESA's comet-chaser Rosetta will make a fly-by of planet Earth on 4 March 2005, and sky watchers should be able to see it with telescopes or binoculars if the sky is clear! Rosetta is approaching Earth from an ...

Recommended for you

Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

4 hours ago

For the first time, Spanish researchers have detected an unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are introduced into a droplet of salt water and is left to dry, b ...

How do we terraform Venus?

4 hours ago

It might be possible to terraform Venus some day, when our technology gets good enough. The challenges for Venus are totally different than for Mars. How will we need to fix Venus?

Biomarkers of the deep

5 hours ago

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Spain is a unique geological site that has fascinated astrobiologists for decades. The Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB) in Spain's Río Tinto area is the largest known deposit ...

User comments : 0