Rosetta Passes Important Design Review
13 December 1998The Rosetta comet rendezvous mission has passed another significantmilestone. According to ESA's usual practice for major projects, a Rosetta Mission System Design Review took place at ESTEC in The Netherlands on 10 December 1998. Duringthe review an independent team of engineers and ESA officials closelyscrutinised all theelements of the mission, including the ground stations, the spacecraft, thepayload ofscientific instruments and the launcher.
The review came at the end of several weeks of very intensive discussion focused around a number of severe constraints which the mission team will have to overcome. They include:
- the spacecraft's thermal design - how Rosetta will cope with high temperatures close to the Sun and much lower temperatures beyond the asteroid belt
- the available mass for the spacecraft and its scientific payload, based on the lifting capacity of the Ariane-5 rocket
- providing sufficient electrical power supply from the spacecraft's solar panels in the dark depths of the Solar System
- the very challenging construction, assembly and test schedule, for the January 2003 launch date.