Rosetta Status Report - November 2005
28 November 2005 10:06Mission Status
The highlight of the reporting period was the observation campaign to support the Deep Impact event on 4 July. Four scientific instruments (OSIRIS, MIRO, VIRTIS and Alice) participated in the campaign together with the Navigation Cameras. The campaign started on 28 June and ended 14 July.
OSIRIS collected excellent data - it was the only instrument that could monitor the target comet Tempel 1 continuously from the pre-impact through the post-impact phase. The observations already resulted in two publications in Science and Nature, respectively.
On 25 July the spacecraft slew to passive cruise mode (Near Sun Hibernation Mode) after it had been configured to low telecommand and telemetry rates. The only instrument active in this phase was the SREM (Standard Radiation Monitor) in reduced data acquisition mode.
On 18 August the spacecraft had to be commanded back into Active Cruise Mode after anomalous spacecraft dynamics, i.e. an unexpected delta v had been detected a couple of days before. This singular event has been attributed to an unplanned thrusters operation. The cause of the anomaly has been identified and an investigation is underway. Subsequent close monitoring of all thrusters in active cruise mode did not show any anomaly.
A solar flare hit the spacecraft on 8/9 September at the start of the weekly non-coverage period. Both star trackers were affected and had to be recovered during the scheduled weekly contact on 15 September.
At the end of September special payload check-outs were conducted to resolve anomalies reported earlier for the Philae Lander and RPC-IEC. The Lander tests were very successful and could confirm that DPU 1 is functioning nominally. The tests for RPC-IEC will have to be repeated as the command sequences provided by the RPC team were incomplete.
On 7 October the spacecraft was 225 million km from Earth, on its way towards Mars.