No. 54 - Spacecraft Monitoring
30 January 2006 10:31
Report for Period 6 January - 27 January 2006
The reporting period covers three weeks of passive cruise, with monitoring and minor maintenance activities.
On the subsystems side, the TC link timeout was returned to its normal value of 9 days on 12 January. The TM mode was temporarily changed to "bi-weekly" between 12 and 19 January, to cope with possible reduction of coverage when new Norcia was supporting Mars Express contingency operations.
The payload was inactive in the reporting period, with the exception of SREM measuring radiation in the background.
A total of 3 New Norcia passes were taken over the reporting period.
At the end of the reporting period (DOY 027) Rosetta was at 377.6 million km from the Earth (2.52 AU; one-way signal travel time was 21m 00s). The distance to the Sun was 259.5 million km (1.72 AU).
Preparation for the first Solar Conjunction continues. The spacecraft will be at an angular distance from the Sun below 5 degrees between mid March and mid May 2006, with a minimum separation angle of about 0.3 degrees on the 13 April.
Just before the start of the Solar Conjunction the third Payload Passive Checkout (PC2) will take place in March 2006.
After the Solar Conjunction the spacecraft will be configured into Near Sun Hibernation Mode for a period of about 2 months, from end May to end July 2006.
Operations for the Mars swing-by (February 2007) will start in August 2006, with another payload passive checkout (PC3), an intense tracking campaign around the Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre (DSM-2) in September, and the first payload Active Checkout (PC4) in November/December.