Embed/re-cast webstream: Rosetta's blind date with asteroid Lutetia - 10 Jul 18:00-23:30 CEST (16:00-21:30 GMT)
On 10 July, the European Space Agency will webstream Rosetta's fly-by of Asteroid Lutetia in a two-part programme live from ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany.
ESA's comet-chaser Rosetta is heading for a blind date with asteroid Lutetia: Rosetta does not yet know what Lutetia looks like up-close but, beautiful or otherwise, the two will meet on 10 July. Like many first dates, Rosetta will meet Lutetia on a Saturday night, flying to within 3200 km of the space rock. Rosetta started taking navigational sightings of Lutetia at the end of May so that ground controllers can determine any course corrections required to achieve their intended flyby distance.
The close pass will allow around 2 hours of good imaging. The spacecraft will instantly radio the data back to Earth and the first pictures will be released later that evening. The webstream is available for embed/re-casting via our channel in Livestream.com:: http://www.livestream.com/eurospaceagency
Click on 'Full story' for details on how you can embed-re-cast the webstream in your website, personal home page, blog or other channel. -- Daniel
Full story »
General , Press Releases
30 June, 2010 16:13
Call for press - invitation to Rosetta fly-by media event at ESA/ESOC
The call for press has just gone out in the main ESA website. Full information and details on registering for the fly-by media event here at ESA/ESOC on 10 July 2010 are available here. -- DGS
Latest fly-by time & distance forecast
Today, ESA's flight dynamics team compiled a fresh forecast on Rosetta's fly-by time and distance, based on analysis of last week's thruster burn and additional ground station data received from NASA's DSN network. The results? The closest approach is forecast to occur at a distance of 3169 km from Lutetia at a predicted time of 15:44:55.51 UTC (with a 3-sigma uncertainty of 7.43 seconds). -- Daniel
General , Operations
18 June, 2010 10:09
Today's thruster burn complete
Rosetta Spacecraft Operations Manager Andrea Accomazzo just rang to confirm that this morning's trajectory correction manoeuvre is complete - post-burn telemetry from the spacecraft is being received via ESA's 35m station at New Norcia, Australia. We will now wait for the flight dynamics experts to perform an analysis. -- Daniel
Rosetta thruster burn to align probe with asteroid target
The Rosetta team here at ESOC are preparing for a thruster burn tomorrow, 18 June, designed to manoeuvre the deep-space probe onto an altered trajectory that will take it to the desired fly-by point on 10 July (burn starts 08:24 CEST).
Now here's an interesting bit of space science: based on data gathered during this month's complex optical navigation campaign, the spacecraft is currently predicted to make closest approach at just 2639 km from Lutetia - quite a bit closer to the asteroid then the hoped-for 3160 km.
Closer would be better, don't you think? So why are the Rosetta team burning fuel to take the point of closest approach 526 km further away from the target?
It turns out that 2639 km would be too close - more details under 'Full story' -- Daniel
Exploded view of Rosetta showing internal and external components. There are 24 10N thrusters mounted externally.
Full story »
Tracking a pinpoint of light: Rosetta's first glimpse of asteroid Lutetia
A lovely little photo kicks off our Lutetia fly-by coverage! This first image of asteroid Lutetia was captured on 31 May 2010 by Rosetta's Navigation Camera A (there are two, 'NavCam A' and 'NavCam B') and was processed by the Flight Dynamics team here at ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations Centre, in Darmstadt, Germany.
(Click on 'Full story' for more details) -- Daniel
Full story »
Rosetta’s blind date with asteroid Lutetia
Like many first dates, Rosetta will meet Lutetia on a Saturday night, flying to within 3200 km of the space rock. Rosetta started taking navigational sightings of Lutetia at the end of May so that ground controllers can determine any course corrections required to achieve their intended flyby distance.
The close pass will allow around 2 hours of good imaging. The spacecraft will instantly begin beaming the data back to Earth and the first pictures will be released later that evening.
Full article in ESA web portal here.
Lutetia flyby 10 July 2010
On 10 July 2010, Rosetta will pass by asteroid (21) Lutetia, with closest approach predicted to take place at 15:44 UTC (17:44 CEST).
This will be the spacecraft's second asteroid encounter with an asteroid of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Rosetta is expected to pass the asteroid with a relative velocity of 15 km/s at a minimum distance of 3160 km (all figures subject to change). The selected flyby strategy allows continuous observation of the asteroid before, during and after closest approach. Most of the scientific instruments on Rosetta will be switched on for investigations. Imaging and spectral observations will be obtained covering ultraviolet to sub-millimetre wavelengths. A number of in situ measurements will be made of the asteroid as well as of its direct environment.
The target, (21) Lutetia, is a large asteroid with an estimated diameter of about 95 km. It has been classified as either C-type or M-type, meaning that remote sensing observations have shown features that hint at characteristics of carbonaceous chondrite (a type of meteorite that contains organic chemicals and water), but also to a metallic surface composition. This contradiction makes (21) Lutetia an extraordinarily interesting object for close inspection from space.
More info to follow in the coming days here in the Rosetta Blog!