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Rosetta

Rosetta webpage on the ESA website

The Mission

mxim In November 1993, the International Rosetta Mission was approved as a Cornerstone Mission in ESA's Horizons 2000 Science Programme. Since then, scientists and engineers from all over Europe and the United States have been combining their talents to build an orbiter and a lander for this unique expedition to unravel the secrets of a mysterious 'mini' ice world – a comet. The adventure began March 2004, when a European Ariane 5 rocket lifted off from Kourou in French Guiana.
During a circuitous ten-year trek across the Solar System, Rosetta will cross the asteroid belt and travel into deep space, more than five times Earth’s distance from the Sun. Its destination will be a periodic comet known as Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.The Rosetta orbiter will rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and remain in close proximity to the icy nucleus as it plunges towards the warmer inner reaches of the Sun’s domain. At the same time, a small lander will be released onto the surface of this mysterious cosmic iceberg.

The spacecraft

mxim Rosetta is a large aluminium box with dimensions 2.8 x 2.1 x 2.0 metres. The scientific instruments are mounted on the 'top' of the box (Payload Support Module) while the subsystems are on the 'base' (Bus Support Module).On one side of the orbiter is a 2.2-metre diameter communications dish – the steerable high-gain antenna. The lander is attached to the opposite face. Two enormous solar panel 'wings' extend from the other sides. These wings, each 32 square metres in area, have a total span of about 32 metres tip to tip. Each of them comprises five panels, and both may be rotated through +/-180 degrees to catch the maximum amount of sunlight.
mxim The lander structure consists of a baseplate, an instrument platform, and a polygonal sandwich construction, all made of carbon fibre. Some of the instruments and subsystems are beneath a hood that is covered with solar cells.An antenna transmits data from the surface to Earth via the orbiter. The lander carries nine experiments, with a total mass of about 21 kilograms. It also carries a drilling system to take samples of subsurface material.

Rosetta News

mxim

Rosetta preparing for perihelion, 13 July 2015
Rosetta’s investigations of its comet are continuing as the mission teams count down the last month to perihelion – the closest point to the Sun along the comet’s orbit – when the comet’s activity is expected to be at its highest.

mxim

Comet sinkholes generate jets, 3 July 2015
A number of the dust jets emerging from Rosetta’s comet can be traced back to active pits that were likely formed by a sudden collapse of the surface. These ‘sinkholes’ are providing a glimpse at the chaotic and diverse interior of the comet..

mxim Rosetta swoops in for a close encounter, 04 February,
ESA’s Rosetta probe is preparing to make a close encounter with its comet on 14 February, passing just 6 km from the surface.

mxim Rosetta watches comet shed its dusty coat, 28 January,
ESA’s Rosetta mission is providing unique insight into the life cycle of a comet’s dusty surface, watching 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko as it sheds the dusty coat it has accumulated over the past four years.

mxim Getting to know Rosetta's comet, 22 January,
Rosetta is revealing its host comet as having a remarkable array of surface features and with many processes contributing to its activity, painting a complex picture of its evolution.

mxim Rosetta continues into its full science phase , 21 November,
With the Philae lander’s mission complete, Rosetta will now continue its own extraordinary exploration, orbiting Comet 67P/Churymov–Gerasimenko during the coming year as the enigmatic body arcs ever closer to our Sun.

mxim Pioneering Philae completes main mission before hibernation, 17 November,
Rosetta’s lander has completed its primary science mission after nearly 57 hours on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

mxim

mxim

Touchdown! Rosetta's Philae probe lands on Comet

ESA’s Rosetta mission has soft-landed its Philae probe on a comet, the first time in history that such an extraordinary feat has been achieved.

After a tense wait during the seven-hour descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, the signal confirming the successful touchdown arrived on Earth at 16:03 GMT (17:03 CET).

mxim

Follow the Rosetta landing live, Follow the on www.esa.int starting on 11 November at 20:00 CET, the final phase will start on 12 November at 15:00 CET

mxim Rosetta and Philae separation confirmed , 12 November,
The Philae lander has separated from the Rosetta orbiter, and is now on its way to becoming the first spacecraft to touch down on a comet.

mxim Farewell "J", Hello "Agilkia", 5 November,
The site where Rosetta’s Philae lander is scheduled to touch down on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November now has a name: Agilkia.
The landing site, previously known as ‘Site J’, is named for Agilkia Island, an island on the Nile River in the south of Egypt. A complex of Ancient Egyptian buildings, including the famous Temple of Isis, was moved to Agilkia from the island of Philae when the latter was flooded during the building of the Aswan dams last century.

mxim Name Rossetta mission's landing site, 16 October, ESA and its Rosetta mission partners are inviting you to suggest a name for the site where lander Philae will touch down on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November.
The competition opens today and will run until 23:59 GMT on 22 October. The winner will be announced on 3 November on the main Rosetta web page (www.esa.int/rosetta), via ESA’s social media channels, as well as on the German, French and Italian space agency (DLR, CNES and ASI) web pages and social media channels.

mxim ESA confirms the primary landing site for Rosetta, 15 October,
ESA has given the green light for its Rosetta mission to deliver its lander, Philae, to the primary site on 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November, in the first-ever attempt at a soft touchdown on a comet.

mxim Utetia's dark side hosts a hidden crater 8 October 2014,
Grooves found on Lutetia, an asteroid encountered by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft, point to the existence of a large impact crater on the unseen side of the rocky world.

mxim How Rosetta arrives at a comet 2 August 2014,
After travelling nearly 6.4 billion kilometres through the Solar System, ESA’s Rosetta is closing in on its target. But how does a spacecraft actually arrive at a comet?
 
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