Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

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Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#1  Postby DougC » Jan 19, 2014 6:16 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25782249
B.B.C. Article
One of the most daring space missions ever undertaken reaches a key milestone on Monday.
Europe's Rosetta probe was launched a decade ago on a long quest to chase down and land on a comet, and has spent the past two-and-half-years in hibernation to try to conserve power.
But at 10:00 GMT, an onboard "alarm clock" is expected to rouse the spacecraft from its slumber.
Rosetta will then warm its systems before sending a signal to Earth.
Receipt of this "I'm awake" message will confirm the great endeavour is still on course.
Rosetta is due to rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August.
And after spending a couple of months studying and mapping this 4km-wide ball of ice and dust, it will drop a small robot on to the comet's surface to gather samples and panoramic pictures.

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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#2  Postby DougC » Jan 20, 2014 9:19 pm

ITS ALIIIIVE!

B.B.C. - Rosetta comet-chaser phones home
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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#3  Postby newolder » Jan 31, 2014 9:26 pm

I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops. - Stephen J. Gould
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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#4  Postby THWOTH » Jan 31, 2014 9:36 pm

:)
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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#5  Postby DougC » Mar 22, 2014 12:56 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26683763
B.B.C. Article
Comet-chaser Rosetta's instruments come alive
The Rosetta probe has started turning on its instruments.
After coming out of a near three-year, deep-space hibernation in January, the satellite now has sufficient power to check out its science payload.
The spacecraft is currently about 675 million km from Earth, and continues to close in on its comet quarry.
Rosetta should arrive at the icy body in early August, when it will then start mapping the object to find a safe spot to put down its little lander.
This craft, known as Philae, is piggy-backing the main probe, and was set to receive its wake-up commands on Friday. It will be another week, however, before they are actioned.
Dr Matt Taylor, the European Space Agency's Rosetta project scientist, told BBC News: "The mission as a whole had this big emotional moment in January when the spacecraft was woken up.

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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#6  Postby orpheus » Mar 22, 2014 7:20 am

:popcorn: (Uncle Orph'sTM popcorn - "we deliver — everywhere!" )
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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#7  Postby DougC » Mar 29, 2014 12:18 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26790833
B.B.C. Article
Comet lander checks in with Earth
The Philae lander, which Europe hopes to put on the surface of a comet later this year, has been re-activated after three years in deep-space hibernation.
The small probe is currently riding piggy-back on the Rosetta satellite. This was despatched 10 years ago to rendezvous with the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and was itself awoken in January.
"Mothership" and lander should arrive at the huge ice object in August.
After a period of mapping, Rosetta will then release Philae on its challenging bid to attach itself to 67P in November.

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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#8  Postby THWOTH » Mar 29, 2014 5:24 pm

esa.int wrote:Gotcha! Rosetta sets sights on comet
27 March 2014

Image
Narrow-angle view of comet 67P/CG taken on 21 March.
Credits: ESA © 2014 MPS for OSIRIS-Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Rosetta has caught a first glimpse of its destination comet since waking up from deep-space hibernation. These two ‘first light’ images were taken on 20 and 21 March by the OSIRIS wide-angle camera and narrow-angle camera, as part of the six-week instrument commissioning period.

Rosetta is currently around 5 million kilometres from the comet, and at this distance it is still too far away to resolve – its light is seen in less than a pixel and required a series of 60–300 second exposures taken with the wide-angle and narrow-angle camera. The data then travelled 37 minutes through space to reach Earth, with the download taking about an hour per image.

The colour composite (below) shows a background of hydrogen gas and dust clouds in the constellation Ophiuchus. The white box indicates the position of the close-up taken with the narrow-angle camera (above) with the comet appearing towards the top of this box, close to the bright globular star cluster M107.

Image
Wide-angle view of region containing comet 67P/CG, taken on 20 March.
Credits: ESA © 2014 MPS for OSIRIS-Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA


http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/03/27 ... -on-comet/
ESA Portal: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space ... tion_comet
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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#9  Postby laklak » Mar 29, 2014 5:29 pm

Brilliant. Just fucking brilliant.
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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#10  Postby Animavore » Mar 29, 2014 8:18 pm

Wow! How did this one slip by me? This is amazing.
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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#11  Postby DougC » May 08, 2014 2:12 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27315877
B.B.C. Article
Rosetta comet-hunter narrows the gap
Europe's Rosetta comet-chasing spacecraft has started the process of zeroing in on its quarry.
Controllers lit the thrusters on the satellite on Wednesday, enabling the mission to start to match its pace to the huge ball of ice and dust.
The 45-minute burn was the first of 10 planned manoeuvres up to 6 August, when Rosetta will drop into orbit around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
The probe will then map the object to find a site to put down a lander.
This contact event is scheduled for mid-November.
Rosetta and 67P are currently some 538 million km from Earth, with the spacecraft running slightly ahead of the comet.
The separation distance between the pair is narrowing daily. At the moment, it is about 1.8 million km.

(Continues)


http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Rosetta_sets_sights_on_destination_comet
ESA
Rosetta sets sights on destination comet
27 March 2014
ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has caught a first glimpse of its destination comet since waking up from deep-space hibernation on 20 January.

These two ‘first light’ images were taken on 20 and 21 March by the OSIRIS wide-angle camera and narrow-angle camera, as part of six weeks of activities dedicated to preparing the spacecraft’s science instruments for close-up study of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

OSIRIS, the Optical, Spectroscopic and Infrared Remote Imaging System, developed under the leadership of the Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung in Göttingen, Germany, has two cameras for imaging the comet. One covers a wide angle, while the narrow-angle camera covers a smaller field at higher resolution.

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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#12  Postby SevenZarkSeven » May 08, 2014 8:11 am

This reminds me of staying up late as a kid to watch the Sky at Night providing live telemetry from Giotto.
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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#13  Postby DougC » May 21, 2014 8:10 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27498534
B.B.C. Article
Rosetta comet-chaser initiates 'big burn'
Europe's Rosetta spacecraft is in the midst of another critical moment in its mission to rendezvous with a comet.
The satellite has lit its thrusters for a near-eight-hour burn that should put it on just the right path to meet up with 67P/C-G in August.
Although eight further manoeuvres will be required to complete the task, Wednesday's is the big one.
Rosetta, which was launched from Earth 10 years ago, plans to orbit the comet and put a small lander on its surface.
If all goes well, the mission should return some remarkable insights on the behaviour and chemical make-up of its icy quarry.
Rosetta's automated systems initiated the thruster firing at 15:23 GMT (16:23 BST; 17:23 CEST).

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Edit: Sorry about that. Fucked up the link.
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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#14  Postby DougC » Jun 20, 2014 2:33 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27926614
B.B.C. Article
Icy quarry coming into view
Take your seats because the show is about to begin.
The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe is edging ever closer to the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for what is expected to be one of the most daring space encounters in history.
Wednesday saw the satellite successfully complete the fourth of its 10 planned thruster manoeuvres.
These are designed to get the mission into orbit around the 4km-wide comet on 6 August.
Today (Thursday), the separation between Rosetta and its icy quarry is about 165,000km.
"We're now less than half the Earth-Moon distance. That's how close we are now," explained Prof Holger Sierks, who leads the Osiris camera team on Rosetta.
"I think anybody on the street will understand that - it's actually really close-by in space."

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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#15  Postby DougC » Jun 21, 2014 12:36 am

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Rosetta_s_comet_expect_the_unexpected
ESA Article
Expect the Unexpected
An image snapped earlier this month by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft shows its target comet has quietened, demonstrating the unpredictable nature of these enigmatic objects.
The picture was captured on 4 June by Rosetta’s scientific camera, and is the most recent full-resolution image from the narrow-angle sensor. It has been used to help fine-tune Rosetta’s navigation towards comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, which was 430 000 km away at the time.
Strikingly, there is no longer any sign of the extended dust cloud that was seen developing around nucleus at the end of April and into May, as shown in our last image release. Indeed, monitoring of the comet has shown a significant drop in its brightness since then.
“The comet is now almost within our reach – and teaching us to expect the unexpected,” says the camera’s Principal Investigator Holger Sierks from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany.
“After its onset of activity at the end April, our images are currently showing a comet back at rest.”

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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#16  Postby catbasket » Jun 21, 2014 12:23 pm

From DougC's latest link -

Today, the roughly 4 km-wide comet scales to about one pixel in the narrow-angle camera – meaning no details of the nucleus can be discerned. But within a few weeks, Rosetta will be close enough to see far more: by early July, it should span five pixels and by the start of August, 500 pixels.

With that in mind, we will now begin publishing images on a more regular basis. The next image is foreseen on or around 3 July, and then on a weekly basis until rendezvous on 6 August. The images will be published in the Rosetta image gallery and via the Rosetta mission blog.


Looking forward to seeing those images!
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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#17  Postby newolder » Jun 26, 2014 8:28 am

There's also a relevant "hangout" today:
Details

Created by European Space Agency, ESA · Public eventLinks
Today, 26 Jun, 12:30 - 13:30
Hangouts On Air

Join us to talk about Rosetta's journey to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Our host Daniel Scuka will be joined by:
Fred Jansen - Rosetta Mission Manager
Andrea Accomazzo - Rosetta Flight Director
Padma Yanamandra-Fisher - Coordinator of Amateur Observations for 67P/C-G

Send us your questions in the comments - or on Twitter using #AskRosetta

#ESAhangout #Rosetta 

12:30 to 13:30 is probably UK time but I'm not really sure about internet timings... :dunno:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c9al ... 492tcjpldc
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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#18  Postby DougC » Jul 03, 2014 4:17 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28146472
B.B.C. Article
Rosetta edges towards Comet 67P
Europe's Rosetta spacecraft is edging ever closer to its quarry - the 4km-wide Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Thursday's separation is just 43,000km, and the narrowing gap is evident in the probe's latest photo release.
The new image shows the great mountain of ice now taking up several pixels, and 67P will just get bigger and bigger over the coming weeks.
Controllers at the European Space Agency are aiming to get Rosetta into orbit around the comet on 6 August.
On Wednesday, they completed successfully the latest burn on the satellite's thrusters.
It was the fifth in a sequence of 10 that are needed to refine the final approach, bringing the probe to an eventual “miss distance” under 100km and a relative velocity that is pretty much walking pace.

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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#19  Postby newolder » Jul 03, 2014 6:05 pm

I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops. - Stephen J. Gould
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Re: Rosetta: Alarm to sound for comet mission

#20  Postby newolder » Jul 15, 2014 1:36 pm

Detail improving:
Described as a "contact binary" object here.
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