No. 129 - Mission Operations Update
18 February 2010 17:30
Report for Period 30 January to 12 February 2010
After the successful test of the deep space hibernation mode (DSHM), which was covered in the previous reporting period, spacecraft maintenance activities have resumed as planned. Reaction wheel B was re-lubricated on DoY 034, with a run-in phase that lasted till DoY 042. It was subsequently added in the control loop of the spacecraft's attitude & orbit control system, which now operates on all four reaction wheels again. During the reporting period several payload tests were also conducted in preparation of the 12th payload check-out, which is planned for April-May 2010.
During the reporting period, mission operations have been conducted with support of the ESA New Norcia (NNO) ground station.
At the end of the reporting period (DoY 043) Rosetta was at 72.6 million km from Earth (0.48 AU) and the one-way signal travel time was 242 seconds. The distance to the Sun was 219 million km (1.46 AU).
The Rosetta spacecraft is now configured in normal mode, in which it will nominally remain until the deep space hibernation entry in June 2011.
A test of the Philae lander's solar generator, with Sun exposure of the back side of the spacecraft, is planned for 24 February 2010 and a dynamics test of the Lutetia flyby is planned for 15 March 2010. Both tests are conditional to the behaviour of reaction wheel B, whose performance is being monitored following its re-lubrication.
Rosetta is cruising towards asteroid Lutetia. The encounter with the asteroid will take place in July 2010.