MessageToEagle.com – Congratulations to ESA and all space friends across the world! Today is a big and important day in the history of space exploration!
ESA’s Rosetta probe successfully woke from long deep space hibernation! Rosetta has now sent its first signal to Earth!
We all look forward to the months ahead and info gained by the mission!
17 January, 2014
ESA’s Rosetta probe is set to wake up at 10am GMT on Monday, January 20, after three years’ of deep sleep hibernation.
Once it wakes up, Rosetta will first warm up its navigation instruments and then it must stop spinning to point its main antenna at Earth, to let the ground team know it is still alive.
“We don’t know exactly at what time Rosetta will make first contact with Earth, but we don’t expect it to be before about 17:45 GMT on the same day,” says Fred Jansen, ESA’s Rosetta mission manager.
After a ten year journey through space, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft will reach comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014.
| After catching up with the comet Rosetta will slightly overtake and enter orbit from the ‘front’ of the comet as both the spacecraft and 67P/CG move along their orbits around the Sun.Rosetta will carry out a complex series of manoeuvres to reduce the separation between the spacecraft and comet from around 100 km to 25-30 km.
From this close orbit, detailed mapping will allow scientists to determine the landing site for the mission’s Philae lander.
The highlight of the mission will take place in November 2014, when Philae, lands on the comet itself.
ESA has released a video showing Rosetta’s orbit around the comet.
The video below is a visualisation of how Rosetta wakes up from deep space hibernation.
The ESA team has some very exciting and nervous months ahead.
For the first time, a spacecraft will follow a comet as it approaches the Sun and land on its nucleus.
It is a truly fascinating and spectacular space mission? Will it succeed?
Will Rosetta manage to land on the comet? Will Philae survive?
Everyone at ESA is hoping for the best, but the future is uncertain. “It´s the first time we do anything like that. The environment is totally unknown,” said Andrea Accomazzo, Spacecraft Operations Manager.
Philae is the island in the river Nile on which an obelisk was found that had a bilingual inscription including the names of Cleopatra and Ptolemy in Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Just as the Philae Obelisk and the Rosetta Stone provided the keys to an ancient civilization, the Philae lander and the Rosetta orbiter aim to unlock the mysteries of the oldest building blocks of our Solar System – comets.
Philae will determine the physical properties of the comet’s surface and subsurface and their chemical, mineralogical and isotopic composition.
This will complement the orbiter’s studies of the overall characterisation of the comet’s dynamic properties and surface morphology.
Philae may provide the final clues enabling the Rosetta mission to unlock the secrets of how life began on Earth.