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[b]Rosetta successfully swings-by Mars — next target: Earth[/b]
At 03:57 CET today, mission controllers at ESOC, ESA's Space Operations Centre in Germany, confirmed Rosetta's successful swingby of Mars, a key milestone in the 7.1-thousand-million km journey of this unique spacecraft to its target comet in 2014.
The gravitational energy of Mars helped Rosetta change direction, while the spacecraft was decelerated with respect to the Sun by an estimated 7887 km/hour. The spacecraft is now on the correct track towards Earth - its next destination planet whose gravitational energy Rosetta will exploit in November this year to gain acceleration and continue on its trek.
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