No. 92 - Passing Orbital Perihelion
27 December 2007 12:00Report for Period 01 December to 21 December 2007
During the reporting period Rosetta went through the perihelion of its current orbit around the Sun (17 Dec 2007 at 0.91077 AU from the Sun) without problems. The spacecraft distance from the Sun will now increase to reach a maximum of ca. 2.26 AU in December 2008.
Activities had a very low profile during the reporting period and performance of the mission has been nominal. The spacecraft observed the same area of the sky it will see during the approach to asteroid Steins next year. This was used for test and calibration purposes of the Navigation Cameras.
At the end of the reporting period (DoY 355) Rosetta was at 30.17 million km from Earth (0.2 AU) and the one-way signal travel time was 101 seconds. The distance to the Sun was 136.4 million km (0.912 AU).
The cruise phase continues towards asteroid Steins that will be encountered early September 2008. During the next weeks Rosetta will complete the Steins observation campaign and start the reconfiguration of the various spacecraft subsystems for intermediate Sun distances. The reconfiguration will be completed in March before the entry in Near Sun Hibernation Mode. The second leg of the post-Earth Swing-by trajectory correction is planned for 21 February 2008.