Rosetta approach on schedule

Nov 06, 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) -- After the trajectory correction manoeuvre on 22 October, Rosetta has lined up on a near-perfect Earth approach path. The manoeuvre was so precise that mission controllers decided not to use the additional manoeuvre slot that was available yesterday.

After the manoeuvre on 22 October, Rosetta has lined up on a near-perfect Earth approach path. The manoeuvre was so precise that mission controllers decided not to use the additional manoeuvre slot that was available yesterday.

Rosetta's orbit has been determined using radiometric data received from ESA and ground stations, and estimates now show that she will pass within a few kilometres of the planned point of closest approach during next week’s Earth swingby. If necessary, additional manoeuvre slots are available at 24 and 6 hours prior to closest approach.

Rosetta is now forecast to pass over a watery point just South of the island of Java at an altitude of 2481 km at 13.34 km/s relative to Earth. This estimate will be updated in the coming days.

Science from a unique perspective

Though time will be short, several science observations are planned around the swingby to exploit Rosetta's unique perspective and powerful instrument suite.

The planned observations include imaging with the scientific camera system OSIRIS, an attempt to look for water on the Moon with MIRO, study of the with the suite of Rosetta plasma instruments, and observations of Earth's atmosphere and a search for aurorae.

The instruments will be turned on one-by one starting today and will stay on through the swingby.

The goal of the swingby is to assist Rosetta to ultimately reach 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for its prime mission. Accordingly, operations will have priority over science activities on 13 November.

During the two nights before closest approach (13 November) and one night afterwards, members of the team will conduct observations from ESA's Optical Ground Station in Tenerife, Spain. They will also carry out an experiment to investigate whether a laser beam can be detected by OSIRIS.

Provided by European Space Agency (news : web)

Explore further: NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

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 probe lined up nicely for Earth approach

Oct 28, 2009

(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 ...

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 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's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

5 hours ago

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Sun emits a mid-level solar flare

Apr 18, 2014

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

The importance of plumes

Apr 18, 2014

The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for finding black holes. It can pick out thousands of galaxies in a patch of sky the size of a thumbprint. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Hubble provided ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.