Wake-Up Rosetta!

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,258
    ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft is soon set to awake out of its long slumber to rendezvous with an approaching comet.

     ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has been in hibernation for over two years awaiting the arrival of a particular comet.  And the time is nearly at hand.  Launched in 2004, Rosetta has traveled long and far using the gravitational pull of Earth and Mars to arrive at the proper trajectory towards the comet.  However, the spacecraft went into hibernation mode back in 2011 to get through it’s toughest part of the journey to reach the comet.  Rosetta’s alarm clock will go off on January 20 in time to wake up and rendezvous with the comet, land on it, and follow it as it swings around the sun for perihelion.  This mission hopefully will help unlock unanswered questions about the building blocks of the Solar System.