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  ESA's Rosetta comet probe: Questions, comments

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Author Topic:   ESA's Rosetta comet probe: Questions, comments
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-21-2014 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ESA's Rosetta to Comet 67P: questions, comments

This thread is intended for comments and questions regarding the updates under: ESA's Rosetta probe and lander to Comet 67P.

Rosetta is the first mission designed to orbit and land on a comet. It consists of an orbiter, carrying 11 science experiments, and a lander — called 'Philae' — carrying ten additional instruments, for the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted.

moorouge
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Registered: Jul 2009

posted 01-21-2014 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is the latest on Rosetta, via ESA's Rosetta Blog -
  • After yesterday's (Jan. 20) spectacular receipt of first signal at 19:18 CET, ending 31 months of hibernation, the team have re-established full control over Rosetta.

  • All basic parameters have been checked out, and it looks like Rosetta came through hibernation fine.

  • For example, the propellant tank temperatures are running now at 7-9 deg C, slightly colder than the 10-15 deg C expected but well within predictions

  • Power levels (i.e. electricity available from the huge solar panels) are fine and substantially similar to the levels prior to hibernation.

  • The solar arrays appear not to have suffered very much degradation if any during 31 months.

  • Team working today to start configuring the solid-state mass memory for use.

  • Next big step will be warming up the reaction wheels and then spinning them up for verification; this will take several days.

  • Acquisition of signal (AOS) yesterday came 18 minutes later than hoped for, but also well within expectations.

  • The slight AOS delay was due to the on-board computer automatically rebooting itself at the beginning of the hibernation exit sequence; the team are looking into this (but Andrea stresses this is not problematic).

  • The team has switched the spacecraft's transmitter to X-band; this means we can now get a decent download rate of about 9 kbps.

  • Tracking has been provided via NASA's Canberra and ESA's New Norcia stations; NASA Goldstone was on call for backup; from now DSN stations will swap roles (Canberra will be on call for back-up).

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 07-31-2014 05:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The nucleus of Rosetta's target comet seen from a distance of 1,212 miles (1,950 km) on July 29, 2014.
Good luck mapping the gravity of such an irregular object! Sounds like a job for Buzz "Dr Rendezvous" Aldrin.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-06-2014 05:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After a decade-long journey chasing its target, ESA's Rosetta has today become the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet, opening a new chapter in Solar System exploration.
Congratulations to the European Space Agency and the Rosetta team!

A question though: is Rosetta really the first probe to rendezvous with a comet?

Rosetta is on track to become the first to orbit a comet, and the first to land a probe on a comet's surface, but what of ICE (ISEE-3), Giotto, Stardust and Deep Impact? Did they not also rendezvous during their planned and successful flybys?

cspg
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posted 08-06-2014 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My understanding is that Rosetta is the first to orbit a comet (and land a probe on the surface), not the first to rendezvous/fly-by. It's also the first probe to get so close to a comet (current altitude of the orbit: 100 kilometers).

Hats off to the team for this extraordinary achievement!

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 08-06-2014 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The new released images are quite stunning. I wonder if the comet will end up breaking up in two due to its shape. Also on one photo, it seems that there is a huge crater on one edge of the comet.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-06-2014 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A tattoo ten years in the making... (Photo courtesy ESA/S. Bierwald)

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-06-2014 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neat size comparison from ESA:

Blackarrow
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Posts: 2242
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 08-06-2014 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
The new released images are quite stunning.
That's one weird-looking piece of real estate. At last a part of my taxes has contributed to a headline space achievement (or at least I hope it has!)

cspg
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Posts: 4791
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 08-06-2014 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
A tattoo ten years in the making...
As I have been watching "Miami Ink" and "LA Ink" shows these days, it never occurred to me that someone would have tattooed a spacecraft!

SkyMan1958
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Registered: Jan 2011

posted 09-11-2014 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rosetta took a "selfie" of itself on September 7. Here's a BBC article that includes the image.

cspg
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Posts: 4791
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 09-11-2014 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a stunning picture, taken by the landing craft Philae of itself and its target. Image from ESA is here.

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