05 August 2014
Artist's impression of the Rosetta spacecraft at its destination, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The picture is not to scale; the spacecraft's solar arrays have a span of 32 metres; the diameter of the nucleus is about four kilometres.
ESA–C. Carreau/ATG medialab.
The Rosetta spacecraft is controlled from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt; the Philae lander is controlled from the DLR Microgravity User Support Center (MUSC) in Cologne. The first signal sent from Rosetta upon waking up after 31 months hibernation was received by the NASA ground stations at Goldstone and Canberra at 19:18 CET on 20 January 2014 and confirmed in Darmstadt at ESOC.
Tomorrow, on 6 August 2014, the Rosetta spacecraft will have approached its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, to within about 100 kilometres, and the global mapping of the surface of the nucleus will begin. For this, Rosetta must adjust its speed to match that of the comet, and then accompany it on its way towards the Sun. This also marks the start of the search for a suitable landing site for the Philae lander. The actual landing site will be selected in October 2014; the landing is scheduled for 11 November 2014.
Watch the press conference from ESA’s Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt from 10:00 CEST (08:00 UTC) via live web streaming: www.livestream.com/eurospaceagency and experience the first time that a spacecraft enters orbit around a comet.
Last modified:05/08/2014 15:46:58