Rosetta Lander unveiled
10 March 1999A full size model of the Rosetta lander was presented to the public for the first time today. The unveiling ceremony took place at the Institute for Space Simulation in Cologne-Porz, a facility operated by the German Aerospace Research Centre (Deutschen Zentrums für Luft und Raumfahrt or DLR).
Dignitaries present at the press conference included the German Parliamentary State Secretary, Wolf-Michael Catenhusen, and DLR Chairman, Professor Walter Krvll.
Also available to answer questions from the press were ESA Project Scientist Gerhard Schwehm, DLR lander project manager Stephan Ulamec, and lander lead scientist Helmut Rosenbauer from the Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie.
The box-shaped Rosetta lander measures approximately 1 metre across and 80 cm in height. The flight version will be attached to the side of the Rosetta orbiter during the journey to Comet Wirtanen, then soft land on the surface of the icy nucleus. Data from the lander will be relayed back to Earth via the orbiter.
The structural and thermal model of the lander presented at the meeting will be used for vibration and thermal tests. These are needed to ensure that the probe will survive the hazards of shaking during launch and extreme temperature variations during its 9-year-long voyage to the comet.