Illustration/Video Credit & Copyright: European Space Agency (ESA): CLICK illustration for larger view and look below for information and related links.
Rosetta’s 12 Year Journey in Space:
ScienceCasts: Mission to Land on A Comet:
On March 2, 2004 just over 10 years ago the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the Rosetta spacecraft on the nose of an Arianespace, Ariane 5 rocket on one of the most ambitious missions ever undertaken. You can read up on a little bit of this mission’s awesome history on my previous Rosetta post here: https://danspace77.com/2013/12/22/esa-rosetta-spacecraft-is-ready-to-wakeup-and-chase-down-a-comet/
Today, with its target (Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko) well in view and closing, the main mission is set to begin in less than a month as orbital insertion is scheduled for August 6, 2014. Orbital height will only be approximately 25 km above the comet’s surface. After a detailed mapping of its surface, five potential landing zones will then be determined.
The mission is comprised of two vehicles. The larger Rosetta space probe which consists of 11 science instruments and a robotic lander named Philae which carries an additional 10 science instruments. ROSETTA gets its name from the Rosetta stone as the mission intends to help determine what the solar system looked like before planets formed. The PHILAE lander is named after the Nile Island, Philae; which is where an obelisk was found that helped to decipher the Rosetta stone.
Rosetta’s mission is to rendezvous, orbit, land on and perform a detailed study of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as part of ESA’s “Horizon 2000” Cornerstone missions. The Philae lander will then ride the comet through perihelion.
Thus far, Rosetta has imaged the comet a few times and for a while, things appeared to get dicey as the comet began to flare up and outgas but as of now it’s gone quiet again. For the sake of the safety of the two spacecraft and the mission as a whole, let’s hope 67P stays quiet just a bit longer.
August 6, 2014; Arrive at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
November, 2014; Philae to land on comet.
August 13, 2015; Comet reaches perihelion and subsequently ends the mission?
WHERE IS ROSETTA?!! http://sci.esa.int/where_is_rosetta/
ESA Rosetta page: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta
ESA Science Rosetta page: http://sci.esa.int/rosetta/
ESA Rosetta BLOG: http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/
Rosetta Overview: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta_overview
NASA JPL Rosetta page: https://rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov/
Science at NASA Rosetta page: http://science.nasa.gov/missions/rosetta/
Rosetta on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ESA_Rosetta
European Space Agency on Twitter: https://twitter.com/esa
ESA Rosetta Images: http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Missions/Rosetta/(class)/image
NASA/JPL Rosetta Images: http://rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/images
NASA Rosetta Images: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/rosetta_images20100710.html
ESA Rosetta Images on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/europeanspaceagency/sets/72157638315605535/