Rosetta arrives at comet destination

“After ten years, five months and four days travelling towards our destination, looping around the Sun five times and clocking up 6.4 billion kilometres, we are delighted to announce finally ‘we are here’,” says Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA’s Director General.

“Europe’s Rosetta is now the first spacecraft in history to rendezvous with a comet, a major highlight in exploring our origins. Discoveries can start.”

via Rosetta arrives at comet destination / Rosetta / Space Science / Our Activities / ESA.

From: Re-Live the excitement

For those of you who couldn’t follow the live streamed event this morning, here’s a short summary of what happened here at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt at the Rosetta Rendezvous event. A full replay of the livestream can be found here.

A couple of pics here.

Previous coverage of it waking up here and of it having its software upgraded here.

Software upgrade at 655 million kilometres

Although Rosetta and MIDAS spent 957 days in hibernation, the MIDAS team back on Earth were busy learning how best to use MIDAS with tests on the Flight Spare (the identical twin instrument). As a result we have made a number of tweaks and enhancements to the software ready for our encounter with comet 67P/CG. After the passive checkout we know that we’re in good shape, so the next step is to upload and apply the software patches. The new software was tested both on the Flight Spare and on an instrument/processor simulator developed by the institute.

via Software upgrade at 655 million kilometres | Rosetta – ESA’s comet chaser.

Wake up, Rosetta!

Rosetta was launched in 2004 and has since travelled around the Sun five times, picking up energy from Earth and Mars to line it up with its final destination: comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. For the coldest, loneliest leg of the mission, as Rosetta travelled out towards the orbit of Jupiter, the spacecraft was put into deep-space hibernation.

In 2014, Rosetta will complete its cruise towards the comet, rendezvousing with it in August, before putting its Philae lander onto the comet’s surface in November, as it begins its journey closer to the Sun.

via Wake up, Rosetta! / Rosetta / Space Science / Our Activities / ESA.

Rosetta will arrive at 67P in August 2014, where it will become the first spacecraft to orbit the nucleus of a comet and, later in the year, the first to land a probe – Philae – on a comet’s surface. It will also be the first mission to escort a comet as it journeys around the Sun.

Deployment of Europe’s Galileo constellation continues

Galileo is Europe’s own global satellite navigation system. It will consist of 30 satellites and their associated ground infrastructure.

via ESA Portal – Deployment of Europe’s Galileo constellation continues.

The four satellites launched during the IOV phase are the nucleus of the constellation that will then be extended to reach its FOC.