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Rosetta comet chaser goes into deep sleep

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posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 06:27 AM
i found this article posted this morning pretty cool and i know that there are alot here who would find this interesting

Europe's Rosetta spacecraft, which is heading for a rendezvous with a comet in 2014, has been put into hibernation by its controllers.

The command was sent from Germany on Wednesday, instructing the probe to enter a deep sleep. Only heaters and an "alarm clock" have been left running.

Nothing will be heard from the spacecraft for the next two-and-a-half years - not even a reassuring beep.

Rosetta should wake up at 1000 GMT on 20 January 2014.

Assuming it does, the spacecraft will then be just a few months away from its appointment with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko out near the Planet Jupiter.

The 31 months of sleep will see Rosetta fly an arc some 660 million km from the Sun out to 790 million km and back. The probe is already the most distant spacecraft to operate on solar power, but such is its remoteness now that the solar panels are providing very little energy. Putting the probe to sleep will draw minimum power.

It has already delivered some fascinating science, particularly at the close passes it made to two asteroids - the rocks Steins, in 2008, and Lutetia, in 2010.

When Rosetta wakes in the January of 2014, it will use the time before its July rendezvous to study Churyumov-Gerasimenko and plan its approach.

The intention is for Rosetta to follow the comet as it moves in towards the Sun, monitoring the changes that take place on the body.

sounds like pretty cool stuff check out the news report HERE and here HERE will be interesting to see what Rosetta comes up with once it gets there

Also edited to add: have a look at this animation of when rosetta first saw the comet and other stuff

This animation comprises a series of images that include Comet 67-P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko acquired by the European Southern Observatory (ESO; first image only) and by Rosetta's OSIRIS imaging system (all subsequent images) on 25/26 March 2011 at a distance of 163 mn km. The images show a progressively narrower field of view, 'zooming in' on the comet, which initially is invisible against the background star field.


edit on 9/6/11 by ronishia because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:14 AM
Not that I'm doubting your info/post ....

I wonder how they are going to keep the solar arrays pointed at the sun if the probe is in deep sleep?

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:33 AM

Originally posted by samkent
Not that I'm doubting your info/post ....

I wonder how they are going to keep the solar arrays pointed at the sun if the probe is in deep sleep?

It's spin-stabilized while in deep sleep. As such it needs no active attitude control while in hibernation.

Rosetta spin-stabilized
When in deep space hibernation mode the spacecraft is spin-stabilized as opposed to being 3-axes stabilized. On 20 January the spin-up for the DSHM test was initiated, at 18:00 UT. The spacecraft's 10-Newton thrusters (only those on branch A of the reaction control subsystem) were used for the spin-up. These were also used again at the end of the DSHM test for the spacecraft spin-down.

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:40 AM
reply to post by samkent

well at the moment the solar panel things are directly pointed at the sun however as it gets further away from the sun the panels become less effective. hence the reason why they have put it into sleep mode, this way it saves power for that final push when it wakens back up

more info

But this will be no break for researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR); they will continue to train in preparation for Rosetta's arrival in May 2014. Six months after reaching the comet, Philae, the Rosetta lander, will become the first spacecraft to land on a comet.

"The spacecraft will remain pointed towards the Sun over the next two-and-a-half years, but only a clock, some heaters that are part of the thermal control system and a radio receiver will remain in operation."


some images the chaser has captured so far on its voyage

infared of the earth


asteroid Lutetia"

image of the earth and moon from 70 million kilometres

the moon

rosetta comet site

debris field of an asteroid

edit on 9/6/11 by ronishia because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 10:50 AM
reply to post by ronishia

I always feel sad when a spacecraft I've followed closely gets put into deep sleep or dies. Fortunately sometimes they wake up on command again, and I am looking forward to the date that the lander, Philae lands on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Somehow I feel an emotional link to them, because it has helped me to enrich myself... W.I.S.E, Pioneer 10 & 11, and countless others. May they rest in peace, and thank you for enriching humanity. Unfortunately we remember the passing of these magnificent machines a lot longer than all the very dedicated people giving a huge part of their lives to these machines.

erm .... sorry for an emotional posting, lol .....

edit on 9/6/2011 by Hellhound604 because: (no reason given)

edit on 9/6/2011 by Hellhound604 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 04:25 PM
reply to post by Hellhound604

dont be sorry
just dont cry over ma desk..i just had it cleaned

seriously tho i love stuff liek this, its like the anticipation at xmas time to see what pressies u got

oh wait i dont get pressies any more am all grown up

hopefully though when it does reawaken the scientists get the info they want and it goes smoothly

posted on Jan, 20 2014 @ 08:07 AM
reply to post by ronishia

On R.T today" target="_blank" class="postlink">

Ok they've woken her up!! When I saw this on the news today I thought about the Rosetta Stone and how it was used to translate ancient" target="_blank" class="postlink">

Maybe the comet's a spaceship and Rosetta has been sent to meet the vistiors.

posted on Jan, 20 2014 @ 08:10 AM
Oooooo...this is going to be cool. Hope everything goes well for this mission. Can't wait to hear what Rosetta finds!

posted on Jan, 20 2014 @ 08:31 AM
You can watch live coverage about its wake-up call (It hasn't been awakened yet). If its own alarm clock doesn't work, there is no way to get contact to it. So, exciting times.

European Space Agency - Rosetta wake-up call

Rosetta is soon making history. Its first time when they try landing to object that doesn't have gravity. They will launch harpoon to land on it. It will be hard. They will analyze the hydrogen on that comet and see whatever it has same composition as hydrogen found from here. If its similar composition, its likely that life came with comets to Earth. Its first satellite ever to go beyond Mars orbit relying on solar panels.

And this is good example of gravity assist by planets. Its trajectory is amazing:

edit on 20-1-2014 by Thebel because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 09:25 AM
Cant wait to read the comments from the EU crowd if it turns out that the dirty-snowball model is correct.... If a comet was a huge, magical capacitor, I guess Rosetta would have been zapped by now.

posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 01:38 PM

Its first time when they try landing to object that doesn't have gravity.

Huh? Every object in the universe that has mass has gravity. Granted, gravity of small bodies like asteroids or comets is extremely weak, but it's still there! This comet's mass is approx 3,140,000,000 tonnes, and the gravitational acceleration on the surface is approximately 0.0015 m/s^2.

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