Call for media – Rosetta, Europe's comet chaser

04 December 2013

On 20 January 2014, the Rosetta spacecraft will awake from its 957-day hibernation in interplanetary space – and with it, the Philae lander. Rosetta is a mission of the European Space Agency ESA, with a strong involvement of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), which has played a major role in the construction and operation of Philae.

In view of the upcoming activation and the challenges that lie ahead for Rosetta, members of the media are invited to attend a briefing with experts from ESA, DLR and the French space agency, CNES, which will take place on Tuesday 10 December 2013 between 10:00 and 12:30 CET at ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.

What is known as the 'wake-up' of the Rosetta mission on 20 January 2014 marks the beginning of an eventful year. Rosetta will be steadily approaching the comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and will finally reach it in August 2014. Once a comprehensive mapping of the surface has been completed, the Philae lander, supervised by the Lander Control Centre at DLR in Cologne, will descend to the comet's surface in November 2014, and begin the investigation of its nucleus.

Rosetta will continue to accompany the comet on its journey through the inner Solar System, observing up close how it changes when exposed to the increasing intensity of solar radiation as it approaches the Sun.

Rosetta will provide new insights into the origin and evolution of the Solar System and clarify the question regarding the role comets may have played in the transport of water to Earth, and possibly even in the emergence of life on Earth.


Live webcast

The media briefing can be followed live via:

More information about the mission is available at:



Members of the media unable to attend can submit questions as follows:

  • in advance by sending an email to
  • during the briefing, by telephoning the dedicated Rosetta contact number: +49 (0) 6150 90 4356
  • during the briefing via Twitter (hashtag #askrosetta)


Programme at ESOC 10 December 2013

09:30 - Doors open
10:00 - Welcome and introduction
Jocelyne Landeau-Constantin, ESOC Head of Communication
10:05 - Comets as cosmic time capsules: Rosetta's scientific goals
Mark McCaughrean, Senior Scientific Advisor, Directorate of Science and Robotic Exploration
10:20 - Rosetta's year of living dangerously: critical challenges in catching a comet
Paolo Ferri, Head of Mission Operations
10:35 - The role of France in Rosetta
Philippe Gaudon, CNES Rosetta Project Manager
10:45 - The role of Germany in Rosetta
Koen Geurts, DLR Rosetta Lander Technical Manager
10:55 - ESA's Rosetta communication campaign
Markus Bauer, Science Communication Officer
11:10 - Open Q&A
11:30 - Interview opportunities and visit to full-size Rosetta engineering model and dedicated control room


Media registration

Members of the media who wish to attend the press conference are kindly requested to register on the following web page by 12:00 CET 9 December:

Details on getting to ESOC can be found at:

Last modified:
04/12/2013 14:40:06



Andreas Schütz
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Corporate Communications, Spokesman

Tel.: +49 171 3126-466