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TOPIC: Rosetta mission


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RE: Rosetta mission
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The Rosetta spaceprobe is scheduled to make the third flyby the Earth at a distance of only 2481 km, travelling at 10.79 km/second, at 07:46 UT, 13th November, 2009.
The point of closest approach should be over Indonesia (109E, 8S).
Currently the spaceprobe is 0.155 AU from the Earth.

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Rosetta space probe
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The Rosetta space probe made a fly-by of planet Earth on 4 March, 2005, at about 22:10 UT . It came within 1954 kilometres, and was visible as a 8th magnitude star in the constellations Leo and Sextans. Sky watchers in Europe were favourably placed to follow this event using small telescopes or binoculars.
This was the first of the four planet fly-bys that Rosetta will carry out in its long journey to its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta will reach the comet in 2014, enter into orbit and deliver it`s lander, Philae, onto the surface.

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Asteroid belt

Rosetta singled asteroid Steins out using one of its navigational cameras from a distance of about 24m km on 4 August 2008.

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"There is also a chain of seven craters that we would not expect to see on such a small body. We normally see craters like this on moons like our own. We have to look at why they are there, but clearly Steins has a complex collision history. The colour of Steins is essentially grey but it is a little bit reddish. It is also larger than we expected" - Professor Uwe Keller, a principal investigator at the European Space Agency (ESA), which is behind the Rosetta mission.

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The first images from Rosetta`s OSIRIS imaging system and VIRTIS infrared spectrometer were derived from raw data this morning and have delivered spectacular results.
Visible in the image are several small craters on the asteroid, and two huge ones, one of which is 2 km in diameter, indicating that the asteroid must be very old.
The images are 50 to 60 pixels in diameter, enough to characterise the shape and other characteristics of the body of the asteroid.

Asteroid Steins: A diamond in space
Asteroid Steins: A diamond in space

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The Rosetta space probe has made a close pass of asteroid Steins.
The European Space Agency mission flew past the 4.6km-wide rock at a distance of about 800km, taking pictures and recording other scientific data.
The information will be sent back to Earth for processing and will be released to the public on Saturday.
The asteroid pass is a bonus for Rosetta. Its prime goal is to catch and orbit Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko out near Jupiter in 2014.

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Rosetta made its closest pass by Steins, officially known as Asteroid 2867, at 2:58 p.m. EDT (1858 GMT), and swung within 500 miles (800 km) as it flew past at a clip of 19,262 mph (31,000 kph).

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Rosetta has made a successful close flyby of the asteroid Steins.
The spacecraft passed approximately 800 km from the asteroid, travelling at a relative speed of 8.6 km per second.
NASA's Goldstone ground station acquired a signal from Rosetta at 21:14 GMT, 5th September.

-- Edited by Blobrana at 21:40, 2008-09-05

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The Rosetta spacecraft will come within about 500 miles of the asteroid Steins and will use a suite of instruments to take photographs and measurements. Among the instruments on Rosetta is the Alice ultraviolet spectrometer. It splits ultraviolet light and helps scientists identify the minerals on the surface of the asteroid by looking at the signature color of each mineral, said Joel Parker, principal investigator and project manager for Alice.

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