No. 155 - Downlinking of images and abbreviated solar array test
05 May 2011 14:44
Report for the period 24 March to 17 April 2011
This report covers 25 days of Rosetta mission operations. The main activities were the downlinking of images acquired by OSIRIS and the navigation cameras during the previous reporting period and an abbreviated test of the solar arrays.
The target comet and the sky that will be seen during the approach phase in summer 2014 were imaged with OSIRIS and the navigation cameras during the previous reporting period, in preparation for the science mission. These images were downlinked during the current reporting period. On 31 March, an abbreviated solar arrays test was conducted at a Sun distance of around 4.195 AU; the test confirmed the performance of the updated model. The spacecraft is currently in active cruise mode and is navigating towards the point where it will enter the hibernation phase.
During the reporting period, mission operations were conducted using the ESA New Norcia (NNO) ground station.
At the end of the reporting period on 17 April, Rosetta was 492.56 million kilometres from Earth (3.29 AU); one-way signal travel time was 1643 seconds (27 minutes 23 seconds). The distance from the Sun was 638.18 million kilometres (4.26 AU).
The spacecraft is now cruising towards the point where it can safely enter the hibernation phase and is going through an opposition phase; no impact on operations is expected because of this.
In view of the anomalous acceleration during the observations in the previous reporting period, a slew manoeuvre to the relevant attitude is planned for 28 April to ensure that this event is not linked to a permanent condition and is most likely due to outgassing of deposits from the rendezvous manoeuvre thruster firings.
Summary of upcoming events: