No. 93 - 4th Solar Orbit
22 January 2008 12:00Report for Period 22 December 2007 to 18 January 2008
Rosetta is continuing its 4th orbit around the Sun as part of its interplanetary journey. The spacecraft distance from the Sun will now increase to reach a maximum of ca. 2.26 AU in December 2008.
Activities had a relatively low profile during the reporting period and performance of the mission has been nominal. A passive payload check-out was carried out at the beginning of January, interleaved with solar torques characterisation activities. Observations of portion of sky to be seen during the approach to asteroid Steins are continuing.
At the end of the reporting period (DoY 018) Rosetta was at 48.32 million km from Earth (0.32 AU) and the one-way signal travel time was 161 seconds. The distance to the Sun was 146.92 million km (0.982 AU).
SpacecraftDuring the reporting period a passive check-out (PC7) took place (from DoY 003 to DoY 009).
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.