'Wake up' competition for Europe's sleepy comet-chaser

December 11, 2013
A computer generated image shows Rosetta, the billion-dollar comet-chasing-spacecraft

Citizens of Planet Earth are being invited to make a "video shout-out" to wake up a deep-space probe, Rosetta, that has been in hibernation since June 2011.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is offering prizes for the best video clip of people shouting "Wake up, Rosetta!" to help end its scout's long sleep next month.

Launched back in March 2004, Rosetta is designed to rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko next year at 673 million kilometres (420 million miles) from the Sun.

It will then send down a refrigerator-sized lander called Philae, which will hook onto the comet's surface and carry out scientific tests.

Scientists are fascinated by comets, which are believed to be primitive clusters of dust and ice dating back to the building of the Solar System, billions of years ago.

Rosetta, one of Europe's most ambitious and costliest missions, is programmed to move out of slumber mode at 1000 GMT on January 20. After warming up, it will hopefully contact Earth a few hours later, for the first time in 31 months.

The probe gets its name from the famous stone that led to the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics almost 200 years ago.

The top 10 "wake up" videos will be blasted into the Universe with 20,000 watts of power by ESA's Deep Space network.

The best two will earn tickets to in Darmstadt, Germany, to watch Philae's touchdown in November.

Details and rules on www.facebook.com/RosettaMission .

Explore further: Europe aims for first comet landing Nov. 11 (Update 2)

Related Stories

Asteroid Steins in 3-D

September 2, 2013

(Phys.org) —Five years ago this week, ESA's Rosetta mission flew by asteroid Steins en route to comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko, where it will finally arrive next year after a decade in space.

Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up (w/ Video)

October 12, 2013

(Phys.org) —ESA's comet-chasing mission Rosetta will wake up in 100 days' time from deep-space hibernation to reach the destination it has been cruising towards for a decade.

Recommended for you

Two sub-Jovian exoplanets orbiting bright stars discovered

March 19, 2018

Using NASA's prolonged Kepler mission, known as K2, astronomers have identified two new gas giant exoplanets. The newly found alien worlds, designated HD 89345 b and HD 286123 b, are warm, low-density sub-Jovian planets circling ...

Measuring white dwarf masses with gravitational lensing

March 19, 2018

Measuring the mass of a celestial body is one of the most challenging tasks in observational astronomy. The most successful method uses binary systems because the orbital parameters of the system depend on the two masses. ...

NASA powers on new instrument staring at the Sun

March 16, 2018

NASA has powered on its latest space payload to continue long-term measurements of the Sun's incoming energy. Total and Spectral solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1), installed on the International Space Station, became fully ...


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.