This Catalyst article looks at the Rosetta mission: to rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko where it will study the nucleus of the comet and its environment for nearly two years, and land a probe on its surface. The article also describes how gravity assists, also known as slingshot manoeuvres, are used to speed up the spacecraft and to allow it to achieve the correct orbit to rendezvous with the comet.
Since its launch in 2004, Rosetta has made three flybys of Earth and one of Mars to help it on course to its rendezvous with 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, encountering asteroids Steins and Lutetia along the way. Once Rosetta has caught up with Comet 67P it will orbit the comet to observe the light emitted from the nucleus and coma and examine gas and dust particles given off by the interaction between the solar wind and the comet. If successful, the probe Philae will be the first ever to land on the surface of a comet and take in-situ measurements. Scientists will be keen to compare the results with that of other cometary missions and with ground-based measurements of comets.
The article is from Catalyst: Secondary Science Review 2014, Volume 24, Issue 4.
Show health and safety information
Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.
You might also like
|Published||2010 to date|