No. 126 - Mission Operations Update
30 December 2009 14:05
Report for Period 28 November to 25 December 2009
The reporting period covers four weeks of nominal operations for the Rosetta spacecraft. Following the successful completion of the mission's last Earth swingby in the previous reporting period, all instruments are currently switched off. The spacecraft is now cruising towards asteroid Lutetia. Several activities required for the refresh of all spacecraft Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EEPROMs) were conducted during the reporting period.
Mission operations have been conducted with support of the ESA New Norcia (NNO) and Cebreros (CEB) ground station, as well as the NASA DSN ground stations Goldstone (DSS-24), Canberra (DSS-45) and Madrid (DSS-54 & DSS-65).
At the end of the reporting period (DoY 359) Rosetta was at 31.22 million km from Earth (0.2 AU) and the one-way signal travel time was 104 seconds. The distance to the Sun was 161.55 million km (1.07 AU).
Rosetta is now cruising towards asteroid Lutetia. The encounter with the asteroid will take place in July 2010.
In January 2010 the spacecraft will undergo a major test activity when the Deep Space Hibernation Mode will be commissioned. This activity will require the support of several ground stations and will be the validation of the operating mode which the spacecraft will use for a period of about 2.5 years, from June 2011 till January 2014, during its passive cruise to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.