A few selected sites:
A few details on AFM:
Between 40 and 20 minutes before closest approach, Rosetta will be flipped and readied to enter the asteroid fly-by mode (AFM). During this mode, the orientation of the spacecraft is automatically driven by the navigation cameras to continuously keep the asteroid in the field of view of the imaging instruments. -- Daniel
- Flip has just started
- Telemetry continues until 20:47 CEST, then planned loss of signal for fly-by
- Rosetta will soon enter 'asteroid fly-by mode'
- Start of automatic asteroid tracking using Nav Cam 'A' at 20:38 CEST
We just had a quick chat with Spacecraft Operations Manager (SOM) Andrea Accomazzo here in the Rosetta DCR. He says everything is looking nominal, and some of the final fly-by commands are being uploaded now. -- Daniel
(Direct link to mp3 file if the playback box is not visible)
The Observatoire de Paris is participating in Rosetta through the selection of the asteroid targets and the design of three of its main instruments.
Press release available in original French: CPRosettaObsParisDEF.pdf
A few pics from the Rosetta Dedicated Control Room (DCR) here at ESOC just a few minutes ago (click on 'Full story' to view larger versions). -- Daniel
Lodiot, at left; SOE Armelle Hubault, seated at right. SOEs Jose Morales & Roberto Porta standing, at rear.
A quick snap of 'Emergency Back-up Spacecraft Controller' Orville, seated on (the) console. We note with satisfaction that the flight control team have our blog open on their laptops while tracking Rosetta 360 million km from ESOC!
Here in the Rosetta blog newsroom, we're working with Rita Schulz (to the left in the first picture), Project Scientist for Rosetta, and Gerhard Schwehm (picture below), Mission Manager. I’ve been talking to them both, asking for information on the mission and the instruments that will be working during the fly-by.
Rosetta was proposed as a mission to orbit a comet and place a lander on the surface. The asteroid observations were not confirmed until after orbit injection, when spacecraft operators realised that the fuel carried on board to be used for any initial orbit corrections would not be needed – orbit injection from the Ariane 5 launcher was perfect. Since the spacecraft was to pass through the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter during its journey anyway, the Rosetta flight dynamics team proposed a portfolio of possible fly-by targets based on the extra fuel margin, and (2867) Steins and (21) Lutetia were selected for observation.
See full story for more information on the science observations.
Between now and fly-by - and over the next few days - Rosetta will communicate with the Flight Control Team at ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), Darmstadt, Germany, via the Agency's ESTRACK deep-space station at New Norcia, Australia (NNO), and several of NASA's DSN stations, including DSS-14, DSS-24 and DSS-54. Click on 'Full story' (beneath the image of New Norcia, below) for a detailing listing. -- Daniel
Sabine Kielbassa, Rosetta Flight Dynamics specialist sent this in earlier. She and her colleague, Michael Flegel, put together this animation for us last night (click on image at left for full animated GIF).
The animation is composed of images taken once a day by NAVcam A between 25 August and 3 September. These images were used for the optical navigation campaign, as Rosetta followed Steins, refining its trajectory to close in on the asteroid.
The images have been adjusted so that the stars are of roughly the same brightness from day to day, although the exposure times decrease, and Steins becomes brighter as Rosetta appoaches.