No. 97 - Passive Cruise
13 May 2008 13:23
Report for Period 12 April to 9 May 2008
Rosetta is continuing its fourth orbit around the Sun as part of its interplanetary journey. The spacecraft distance from the Sun will now increase to reach a maximum of about 2.26 AU in December 2008.
The spacecraft is currently configured in passive cruise mode (near Sun hibernation mode - NSHM) with attitude control on thrusters and gyros switched OFF. The active cruise mode will be resumed at the beginning of July in preparation of the payload check-out 8.
A total of three New Norcia (NNO) passes and one Cebreros pass were taken during this period with nominal performance:
At the end of the reporting period (DoY 130) Rosetta was at 108 million km from Earth (0.72 AU) and the one-way signal travel time was 361 seconds. The distance to the Sun was 246 million km (1.64 AU).
The cruise phase continues towards asteroid Steins that will be encountered in early September 2008. The spacecraft will remain configured in passive cruise mode (NSHM) until beginning of July, when it will be reconfigured to Active Cruise Mode for the execution of the payload checkout 8 in preparation of the asteroid Steins fly-by.
On DoY 151 (30/05/08) the spacecraft will start setting its new record of Sun distance when it will cross the boundary of 1.756 AU touched last time in December 2005.