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After 2 1/2 years asleep, comet chasing probe ROSETTA back online!

 
digitalFoo
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01/21/2014 03:35 PM
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After 2 1/2 years asleep, comet chasing probe ROSETTA back online!
From what I can ascertain from the article, this ESA probe's mission is to intercept and RIDE ALONG WITH A COMET TO PEREHILION. It was in hibernation because it couldn't get enough solar power to keep it fully online. Looks like it's back in action and ready to intercept comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

With any luck, we'll finally get answers to all those icy snowball vs metal core vs ET threads.

<50%




"The European comet-chasing probe Rosetta is up and running again today after it successfully roused itself from a 2½-year sleep and signaled anxious controllers on the ground. The spacecraft had been put into hibernation during the most distant part of its 10-year journey in pursuit of comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko because sunlight was too dim to keep its solar-powered systems running. Dozing in a slow stabilizing spin, Rosetta could not receive signals from the ground, so there was a risk that some problem might prevent it from responding to its preset alarm call at 10:00 GMT this morning. Even then, there were many processes to go through before news reached Earth: The spacecraftís heaters would need to warm up its systems, its startrackers get a fix, boosters halt the spin, solar arrays turn towards the sun, and, finally, its communications antenna would need to point at Earth."


"Scientific observations will begin in earnest in May, following a maneuver to synchronize Rosettaís orbit with that of comet 67 P. The spacecraft is attempting to do something never done before: to catch up with a comet as it speeds toward the sun and to go into orbit around it, taking all sorts of measurements as the sunís rays and solar wind start to heat it up and blow material off into a cometís characteristic tail."


"As the spacecraft edges closer over the summer, different instruments will start to work: cameras and spectrometers at various wavelengths, mass spectrometers, chemical analyzers, and sounding instruments. Chris Carr of Imperial College London, the principal investigator for a suite of instruments called the Rosetta Plasma Consortium, says he hopes theirs may be the first on the spacecraft to actually detect the comet as solar wind begins to blow gas off its surface and the sunís ultraviolet light ionizes it, leaving a trail of plasma."

Interesting name, ROSETTA.

Peace.

Last Edited by Still Raging on 01/21/2014 03:40 PM
digitalFoo  (OP)

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01/21/2014 03:45 PM
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Re: After 2 1/2 years asleep, comet chasing probe ROSETTA back online!
To be clear, the purpose of this craft is to intercept and ORBIT the comet. How cool is that?
digitalFoo  (OP)

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01/21/2014 04:11 PM
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Re: After 2 1/2 years asleep, comet chasing probe ROSETTA back online!
Here's some more info on Rosetta:

ESA's Sleeping Beauty Wakes Up From Deep Space Hibernation
[link to www.esa.int]

The Most Important Alarm Clock in the Solar System
[link to www.esa.int]

Why Rosetta?
[link to www.esa.int]

Last Edited by Still Raging on 01/21/2014 04:16 PM
digitalFoo  (OP)

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01/21/2014 04:15 PM
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Re: After 2 1/2 years asleep, comet chasing probe ROSETTA back online!


Last Edited by Still Raging on 01/21/2014 04:16 PM
digitalFoo  (OP)

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01/21/2014 04:56 PM
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Re: After 2 1/2 years asleep, comet chasing probe ROSETTA back online!
bump

For some discussion amongst cometards... Orbiting a comet with a satellite probe to perihelion. Too freakin' cool!





GLP