Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




IRON AND ICE
Rosetta and Philae: Profile of comet-chasing team
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Aug 06, 2014


Following is a profile of the Rosetta spacecraft, its payload Philae and the instruments they carry:

ROSETTA

The backbone of the Rosetta mission is a large unmanned spacecraft designed to orbit 67P/Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it races through the Solar System and scans its icy head with an array of hi-tech eyes.

This orbiter, Rosetta, is a 2.9-tonne box measuring 2.8 x 2.1 x 2.0 metres (9.1 x 6.8 X 6.5 feet) with two vast solar arrays, 14 metres (45 feet) long, which have the surface area of a basketball court.

The panels comprise hundreds of thousands of non-reflective silicon cells, enabling Rosetta to suck power out of sunlight even when the Sun, hundreds of millions of kilometres (miles) away, is just a cold and tiny disc.

Also revolutionary, for the age in which it was launched, is Rosetta's decision-making power.

Instructions from Earth, even though they are travelling at the speed of light, take up to 50 minutes to reach the spacecraft depending on its position, so Rosetta is equipped with smart computers, with backups to provide it with the "intelligence" to look after itself.

Rosetta's 11 instruments will grab images of the comet in various parts of the energy spectrum, analyse the gases that gush from its nucleus as its icy surface is stripped away by the Sun, and a powerful radar whose echoes should give a cross-section of the comet's nucleus.

The instruments are:

- Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (ALICE)

- Comet Nucleus Sounding (CONSERT)

- Cometary Secondary Ion Mass Analyser (COSIMA)

- Grain Impact Analyser and Dust Accumulator (GIADA)

- Micro-Imaging Analysis System (MIDAS)

- Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter (MIRO)

- Rosetta Orbiter Imaging System (OSIRIS)

- Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA)

- Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC)

- Radio Science Investigation (RSI)

- Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIRTIS)

PHILAE

Rosetta's payload is a miniaturised laboratory called Philae, which will carry out the first landing on a comet, using an onboard chemistry set to get a precise view of the elements that make its icy, rocky surface.

The 100-kilo (220 pound) lander, due to be released on November 11, will have to make a feathery landing to avoid bouncing back and spinning uselessly into space, for comets have very low gravity.

As soon it makes contact, it will fire a small tethered harpoon into the comet's surface to gain an anchorage, and then extend its three legs, whose feet will also drill down a few centimetres (inches) to get a good hold.

The lander's impact on the comet should not cause any deviation in trajectory, given the huge differences in their respective masses.

Philae will use its 10 instruments to analyse the chemical, mineralogical and radioactive composition of the comet's surface and subsurface.

This "hands-on" data will be relayed back to the orbiter, Rosetta, which will then retransmit the information to Earth.

Philae's instruments, and their mission names, are as follows:

- Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer (APXS)

- Rosetta Lander Imaging System (CIVA/ROLIS)

- Comet Nucleus Sounding (CONSERT)

- Cometary Sampling and Composition experiment (COSAC)

- Evolved Gas Analyser (PTOLEMY)

- Multi-Purpose Sensor for Surface and Subsurface Science (MUPUS)

- Rosetta Lander Imaging System, ROLIS, designed to provide the first close-up images of the landing site)

- RoLand Magnetometer and Plasma Monitor (ROMAP)

- Sample Distribution Device (SD2)

- Surface Electrical and Acoustic Monitoring Experiment, Dust Impact Monitor (SESAME)

NAMES

- Rosetta is named after the famous stone in the British Museum that helped early 19th-century Egyptologists decipher hieroglyphics, the script of the Pharoahs.

- Philae is named after an obelisk on the Nile whose inscriptions were in turn a key to the Rosetta Stone.

- Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is named after two Ukrainian astronomers, Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko, who first spotted it in 1969. The "67P" refers to its position on the International Astronomical Union (IAU) list of periodic comets, meaning comets whose return past Earth is known. 1P is occupied by the famous Halley's Comet.

- Rosetta was initially scheduled to launch in January 2003, but the launch was delayed for 14 months. Its initial target, 46P/Wirtanen, was replaced by Comet "C-G."

.


Related Links
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





IRON AND ICE
Probe makes space history with rendezvous with comet
Paris (AFP) Aug 06, 2014
The space probe Rosetta made a historic rendezvous with a comet on Wednesday, climaxing a 10-year, six-billion-kilometre (3.7-billion-mile) chase through the Solar System, the European Space Agency (ESA) said. "We're at the comet," Rosetta's flight operations manager, Sylvain Lodiot, declared in a webcast from mission control in Darmstadt, Germany. It marks the first time a spacecraft ha ... read more


IRON AND ICE
August supermoon will be brightest this year

Manned Moon Mission to Cost Russia $2.8 Bln

Tidal forces gave moon its shape

Riddle of bulging Moon solved at last

IRON AND ICE
NASA Mars Curiosity Rover: Two Years and Counting on Red Planet

Robotic Rock Climbers Could Uncover Clues to Mars' Past

Russia To Construct Landing Pad For ExoMars Mission

NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Nears Mountain-Base Outcrop

IRON AND ICE
NASA Selects Innovative Advanced Concepts For More Study

NASA's Space Launch System Boosters Office Completes Critical Design Review

NASA, Navy Prepare for Orion Spacecraft to Make a Splash

Orion spacecraft recovery practiced at sea

IRON AND ICE
China's Circumlunar Spacecraft Unmasked

China to launch HD observation satellite this year

Lunar rock collisions behind Yutu damage

China's Fast Track To Circumlunar Mission

IRON AND ICE
Robonaut Upgrades, Spacewalk Preps and Cargo Ops for ISS Crew

US EVAa Delayed; Crew Preps For Russian EVA, Robonaut Upgrades

Europe's Fifth and Final Resupply Ship Launches to Station

Science and Spacesuit Work While ATV-5 Preps for Launch

IRON AND ICE
AsiaSat 8 Successfully Lifts Off

US Launches Two Surveillance Satellites From Cape Canaveral

United Launch Alliance Marks 85th Successful Launch

US aerospace firm outlines New Zealand-based space program

IRON AND ICE
Planet-like object may have spent its youth as hot as a star

Young binary star system may form planets with weird and wild orbits

Hubble Finds Three Surprisingly Dry Exoplanets

Astronomers come up dry in search for water on exoplanets

IRON AND ICE
NASA Engineer Set to Complete First 3-D Printed Space Cameras

Disney develops tool to design inflatable characters and structures

NASA Experts, Russia Sign Radiation Safety Protocol Despite Sanctions

New material structures bend like microscopic hair




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.