No. 98 - Passive Cruise
10 June 2008 13:44
Report for Period 10 May to 6 June 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 four New Norcia (NNO) passes were taken during this period with nominal performance:
At the end of the reporting period (DoY 158) Rosetta was at 159 million km from Earth (1.06 AU) and the one-way signal travel time was 533 seconds. The distance to the Sun was 268 million km (1.79 AU).
As from DoY 151 (30 May 2008) Rosetta has entered a range of Sun distances that is beyond any distance reached so far in the mission. Rosetta's last record was from December 2005 when it was at 1.756 AU from the Sun.
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.