Rosetta - 2 days before comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    After 10 years, the Rosetta spacecraft is at the finish line and is about to do something that no one else could - get into the comet’s orbit. On Wednesday, August 6th, Rosetta is expected to enter the comet’s orbit, completing its journey of 6.4 billion kilometers.

    About mission Rosetta already wrote on Habré, we will try to supplement this post. After two aborted attempts (engine failure), the Rosetta spacecraft was launched from the Kourou (Guiana) cosmodrome on March 2, 2004 using the Arian-5G + launch vehicle.

    Using the gravitational fields of Earth and Mars, it was possible to set the device to the necessary speed, after which Rosetta headed for the comet, having time to take many beautiful photos along the way. Then Rosetta was immersed in hibernation, and successfully “woke up” in January 2014. At the same time, it became the longest period of hibernation of the spacecraft - 957 days.

    At a distance of 350 thousand km, Rosetta recorded water evaporation in a volume of 300 ml per second, and this is at a distance of 583 million kilometers from the Sun, with the approach to the Sun, this figure will begin to increase sharply.

    There are 11 scientific instruments on board Rosetta (each one has a link to the specification in English, do not count it as an advertisement, it was just more convenient to pdf there):

    ALICE. Ultraviolet Spectrometer - determines the composition of the comet and coma nucleus. It analyzes gases in a coma and tail, measures the rate of release of water and carbon monoxide / dioxide.
    CONSERT (Comet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radio wave Transmission) - studies the internal structure of a comet with a Philae lander.
    COSIMA (Cometary Secondary Ion Mass Analyzer) - studies the composition of dust in a comet's coma. Makes an organic test.
    GIADA (Grain Impact Analyzer and Dust Accumulator) - measures the amount, mass, momentum and speed of dust particles in the comet's environment.
    MIDAS (Micro-Imaging Dust Analysis System) - studies dust in the comet's environment.
    MIRO (Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter) - explores the nature of the comet's nucleus, degassing from the nucleus, and the development of coma. Determines the core temperature.
    OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System Camera) is a dual photo device, consisting of cameras with narrow and wide viewing angles, which operates in the visible, infrared and ultraviolet ranges.
    ROSINA (Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis) - is responsible for determining the composition of the atmosphere of the comet and ionosphere, measuring the temperature, velocity and density of the gas flow. It consists of 2 spectrometers and a sensor: DFMS (Double-focusing mass spectrometer), RTOF (Reflectron Time-Of-Flight mass spectrometer) and COPS (Comet Pressure Sensor).
    RPC (Rosetta Plasma Consortium) - studies the plasma environment of a comet. Consists of ICA (Ion Composition Analyzer), IES (Ion and Electron Sensor), LAP (Langmuir Probe), MAG (Fluxgate Magnetometer), MIP (Mutual Impedance Probe), PIU (Plasma Interface Unit).
    RSI (Radio Science Investigation) - studies the mass, density and gravity of the comet's nucleus, determining the orbit of the comet. Exploring the solar corona on the way to the target comet.
    VIRTIS (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) - studies the nature of the comet's nucleus and gases in a coma. Makes a map and explores the nature of hard rocks, determines the temperature on the surface of the core. It also determines the comet gases, characterizes the physical conditions in the coma and helps determine the optimal places for landing.

    Since May 2014, the device has been slowing down. Through a sequence of complex maneuvers, he must enter the orbit of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, moving 1m / s faster. The comet is currently flying at a speed of 55'000km / h.

    In November 2014, the Philae apparatus will be dumped, which will be engaged in soil and environmental studies on the comet.

    Between July 13th and 21st, Rosetta measured the temperature on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko with VIRTIS and it was -70 ° C, which turned out to be 20-30 degrees higher than expected. The data transfer rate with Rosetta is currently 38088.4232bps. On August 3rd, the freshest comet images from a distance of 300 km were published: We

    tried our best at 3D-visualization in ESA, it turned out really cool, we click and watch the entire Rosetta path. And we follow Rosetta on Twitter (which, incidentally, is funny from the first person perspective), soon a lot of interesting news will follow from there.

    UPD1: August 4th, 234km distance:

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