Rosetta Status Report - February 2006
15 February 2006 14:37As specified in the Rosetta Mission Plan the spacecraft has been in passive cruise mode for the past couple of months, meaning the payload is inactive with the exception of the Standard Radiation Monitor.
The reduced tracking coverage generally means that Rosetta is assigned one ground station pass per week for monitoring and minor maintenance activities. Priority for the Agency's Deep Space Antennas has been given to Venus Express for the post launch check out and commissioning activities and to Mars Express, especially with Marsis having excellent observation conditions.
The spacecraft is in excellent condition and with no problems sustained during a non-coverage period of 14 days over the Christmas holidays.
The Rosetta Science Operations Team, in close collaboration with the PI teams and the Mission Operations Team, has started the preparation of the Mars flyby early 2007, the next major milestone for the mission.
On 6 January the spacecraft was at 360 million km from Earth.