Mission ObjectivesRosetta's main objective is to rendezvous with, and enter orbit around, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and to perform observations of the comet's nucleus and coma. During the period that Rosetta orbits the comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko will reach the closest point to the Sun in its orbit, allowing for the consequent increase in activity to be measured. A lander, named Philae, will be deployed and it will attempt to make the first ever controlled landing on a comet.
Mission NameRosetta takes its name from the Rosetta Stone, an incomplete stela of black basalt incised with the same priestly decree in three scripts concerning Ptolemy V. Although three scripts are shown (Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Egyptian Demotic and Greek) just two languages are represented. The great significance of the Stone is that it provided the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs.
The Rosetta design is based on a box-type central structure, 2.8 m x 2.1 m x 2.0 m, on which all subsystems and payload equipment are mounted. Two solar panels, with a combined area of 64 m2, stretch out to 14 m in length. The total span from tip to tip is 32 m. The Philae lander is attached to the spacecraft side opposite to the side that carries the 2.2m diameter steerable high-gain antenna.
The Rosetta Orbiter:
The Rosetta Lander:APXS, COSAC, MODULUS (Ptolemy), SD2, CIVA, ROLIS, SESAME, MUPUS, ROMAP, CONSERT.
The European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt provides the Operations Control Centre (OCC) for Rosetta. It controls the spacecraft via ESA's 35 m ground station at New Norcia, near Perth, Australia, with additional support during the spacecraft activation, early commissioning and near-Earth phases provided by the ESA 15 m ground station in Kourou.
The Lander Control Centre is located at DLR in Cologne, Germany and the Lander Science Centre is situated at CNES in Toulouse, France.