No. 117 - Passive Cruise Phase
25 August 2009 10:30
Report for Period 25 July to 21 August 2009
The reporting period covers four weeks in the passive cruise phase #6, which started on 2 April. During this phase the Rosetta spacecraft is configured in Near Sun Hibernation Mode (NSHM) and will remain so until beginning of September. During the reporting period the performance of the spacecraft and the ground segment have been nominal.
In preparation of the upcoming payload check-out 10 activities several command files required for instrument maintenance operations have been uplinked to the spacecraft on DOY 215 and 222. The uplinking of files required for the payload check-out 10 will continue over the coming weeks.
Mission operations have been conducted with support of the ESA New Norcia (NNO) ground station.
At the end of the reporting period (DoY 233) Rosetta was at 95.13 million km from Earth (0.65 AU) and the one-way signal travel time was 317 seconds. The distance to the Sun was 223.82 million km (1.49 AU).
The current passive cruise phase will continue until beginning of September when the spacecraft will be reconfigured in active cruise mode in preparation of the payload check-out 10, as well as the Earth swing-by 3 phase.
In week 38 the routine spacecraft check-out will be conducted. In preparation of the Deep Space Hibernation test of January 2010 this check-out will include a characterisation of the spacecraft inertia matrix and of the Sun sensors behaviour at large angles.