Second Earth swingby - November 2007
On 13 November 2007 Rosetta performs its second Earth swing-by which is part of a series of gravity assists required to put the spacecraft on an intercept course with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
This animated sequence, generated using the NASA Solar System simulator, shows Rosetta's orbit (green) from 1 July 2007 through 31 March 2008, in a top view of the inner Solar System.
The second Earth swing-by on 13 November is shown from Rosetta's perspective in the middle of the sequence, for a period of 10 hours around closest approach.
Note: during and around closest approach Rosetta will perform several slews. These changes in pointing have not been integrated in this sequence, which shows a continuous Earth pointing.
This second Earth swing-by occurs nearly 9 months after the Mars swing-by in February 2007 (see also the orbit animation of this event linked from the right-hand side) and 2 years and 8 months after the first Earth swing-by in March 2005.
The last in the series of these gravity assists will occur on 13 November 2009 when Rosetta returns for its third Earth swing-by, after which the spacecraft sets course for its final destination: comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.