Rosetta Lander

A cornerstone mission of the European space program (ESA Cornerstone Mission, Horizon 2000) is the Rosetta mission. The Rosetta probe is the first spacecraft to examine a comet over an extended period of time at close range with a considerable amount of scientific payloads. A prominent part of the mission is the Rosetta Lander PHILAE, provided by an international consortium. PHILAE is controlled by DLRs user center for space experiments in Cologne from its Lander Control Center (LCC).


APX Alpha (Particle Xray Spectrometer)
Alpha Particle Xray Spectrometer: measures directly all major elements except H, He but including C, N, O, and refractories
Principal Investigator: Göstar Klingelhöfer (R. Rieder, J. Brückner, R. Gellert, Jordi Gironés López)
Institut Inorganic & Analytical Chemistry, University Mainz, Germany.

CIVA (Comet nucleus Infrared and Visible Analyzer)
CIVA-P: panoramic image 360° around the lander
CIVA-M/V: microscope to characterize the samples
CIVA-M/I to record IR spectra of the samples
Principal Investigator: IAS, Paris-Orsay.

CONSERT (Comet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radiowave Transmission)
measure the mean dielectric properties to set constraints on the cometary composition (material, porosity...);
detect large-sized embedded structures (several tens of meters), and stratification's;
detect small scale irregularities within the comet
Principal Investigator: LPG Grenoble, CNRS Verrières-le Buisson Cedex.

COSAC (Cometary Sampling and Composition experiment)
Evolved gas analyzer (Gas chromatograph and high-resolution mass spectrometer, chemical analysis of comet core material with an emphasis on organic molecules)
Principal Investigator: MPS Katlenburg-Lindau.

MUPUS (Multi-Purpose Sensors for Surface and Sub-Surface Science)
Measurement of the physical properties of the comet core: thermal conductivity /diffusivity, thermal profile, surface temperature, hardness of cometary material.
Principal Investigator: Universität Münster, DLR Berlin, Space Research Center Warschau.

PTOLEMY (Methods Of Determining and Understanding Light elements from Unequivocal Stable isotope compositions)
Evolved gas analyzer (Gas chromatograph and medium resolution mass spectrometer, mainly isotopic analysis).
Scientific Objectives:

  1. Evaluate the link between water ice on a comet and major bodies of water on Earth.

  2. Comprehend the internal balance of volatiles on a comet and describe the cosmochemical fundamentals of cometary formation.
  3. Elucidate the nature of organic components present on a comet and assess the relationship with equivalent materials known from other Solar System reservoirs (the Earth, asteroids, planets and their satellites, interplanetary dust etc.).
  4. Determine the nature of low temperature mineral components present on a comet and decipher the formation history of such materials.
  5. Document certain features of any high-temperature, refractory, minerals.
  6. Assess the relevance of comets to the operation of widespread and important Solar System processes such as planet formation and the origin of life.

Principal Investigator: Open University, Milton Keynes und Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, Chilton.

ROLIS (Rosetta Lander Imaging System)
To characterize the landing site before and after RoLand has landed (downlooking camera, farfield, nearfield, RGB illumination, stereo pictures possible). ROLIS is a miniature CCD imager located on the balcony of the Rosetta Lander and oriented in a downward-looking direction. From this position ROLIS can observe a region of about 30x30 cm of the nucleus surface located below the lander with a spatial sampling of 0.3 mm/pixel. In order to illuminate the field to be imaged, ROLIS incorporates four independent arrays of light emitting diodes (LEDs) irradiating through the visible and near IR.
Principal Investigator: DLR Berlin.

ROMAP (Rosetta Lander Magnetometer and Plasma Monitor)
Fluxgate magnetometer to measure the magnetic field vector. Plasma monitor to observe the plasma properties of the cometary atmosphere (electrons and ions).

SESAME (Surface Electrical, Sounding and Acoustic Monitoring Experiment)
SESAME is an international instrument complex of three experiments which are served by a common electronics. The instruments are: CASSE (Cometary Acoustic Surface Sounding Experiment) , DIM (Dust Impact Monitor) , PP (Permittivity Probe).
The CASSE experiment is developed to study by acoustic sounding the mechanical properties of the upper surface layers of the comet. PP sounds electromagnetically the permittivity properties of the surface. This is mainly aimed to study the water content and it´s variations. DIM investigates the flow of small particles hitting the piezo-sensor plates of this instrument.
Principal Investigator: DLR Köln (with MPS Göttingen for DIM, FMI Helsinki for PP and Fraunhofer IZFP for CASSE).

SD2 (Sample Drill and Distribution)
to drill samples of the cometary soil up to 30 cm depth and distribute to CIVA-M, COSAC, PTOLEMY.
Principal Investigator: Politecnico Milano.

Dr.rer.nat. Stephan Ulamec
German Aerospace Center

Space Operations and Astronaut Training

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