No. 118 - Start of payload check-out 10
23 September 2009 16:16
Report for Period 22 August to 18 September 2009
The reporting period covers four weeks of operations during which the spacecraft was reconfigured from passive to active cruise mode, following the exit out of Near Sun Hibernation Mode (NSHM) on DOY251. With the mission's last planned near Sun hibernation phase completed, the spacecraft activities immediately focussed on the execution of the tenth spacecraft check-out (SC10). This included a characterisation of the inertia matrix and of the Sun sensors at large offset angles.
On DOY 259 the spacecraft entered a Safe Mode. It was promptly recovered and the nominal mission plan was re-established.
Payload activities for the tenth check-out (PC10) have now started.
Mission operations have been conducted with support of the ESA New Norcia (NNO) ground station and one pass with the Cebreros (CEB) ground station.
At the end of the reporting period (DoY 261) Rosetta was at 54.26 million km from Earth (0.36 AU) and the one-way signal travel time was 181 seconds. The distance to the Sun was 197.4 million km (1.31 AU).
The payload check-out number 10 has now started and will continue for the next two weeks. The schedule foresees a very packed test slot with most of the instruments undergoing maintenance and calibration activities.
After this phase focus will be on the navigation campaign for the third and last Earth swing-by to take place on 13 November 2009. This will be the last of the mission's four gravity assists.