News archive

News archive

Like a giant Lego construction, the Rosetta Electrical Qualification Model(EQM) is slowly shaping up at the Turin plant of Alenia Aerospazio.
Published: 16 August 2000
It may not be as spectacular as Comets Hyakutake or Hale-Bopp in 1996-97,butComet Linear is currently the best show in town for European observers.But dont waste any time. The icy intruder, which is making its first visitto the innerSolar System and has just passed within 114 million km (71 million miles) ofthe Sun,seems to have broken up in the last few days and may rapidly fade fromview.
Published: 28 July 2000
Exactly 15 years ago today, the European Space Agency's Giotto spacecraft lifted off from Kourou at the start of an epic adventure - a rendezvous with the most famous chunk of dirty ice in the Universe, Halley's Comet.
Published: 3 July 2000
Two and a half years to launch... and counting. That was the primaryconsideration for approximately 80 scientists and mission managers from ESAmember countries and the United States as they gathered this week at theEuropean Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in The Netherlandsfor a progress report on the Rosetta mission to Comet Wirtanen.
Published: 16 June 2000
A group of American and French astronomers, including several who are playing a leading role in the Rosetta mission, has announced the discovery of the noble gas argon in Comet Hale-Bopp. This is the first time that one of the so-called noble gases (argon, xenon, neon etc.) has been found in a comet.
Published: 14 June 2000
The Rosetta Structural Thermal Model (STM) arrived safely in Turin today,marking the start of the next stage in the construction of ESA's cometchaser.
Published: 19 May 2000
A major landmark in the Rosetta development programme will be reached thisweek when the final tests on the Structural Thermal Model (STM) arecompleted.Since last year, the 3 tonne STM has been subjected to an extensive seriesof tests at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) inThe Netherlands, in order to ensure that the spacecraft can survive therigours of interplanetary space travel. The final sequence of checks beganon 2 May when an emergency separation test was conducted on the RosettaLander.
Published: 9 May 2000
After more than two weeks of being boiled and then frozen, the Rosetta spacecraft has shown that it can withstand the extreme temperatures to be encountered on its 11 year odyssey to Comet Wirtanen.On 16 April, the Rosetta Structural Thermal Model (STM) completed a prolonged series of tests in the Large Space Simulator, a giant thermal-vacuum chamber at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) at Noordwijk in TheNetherlands. Preliminary results show that the spacecraft behaved as expected, and engineers are confident that ESA's comet chaser will be ableto survive successfully its journey beyond the asteroid belt and back.
Published: 3 May 2000
Imagine leaving home for 11 years, to embark on a trek which will take you from the frozen wastes of Antarctica to the sizzling deserts of Arabia. Working out how to survive such extreme temperature variations would be a major headache.A similar problem is facing the designers of ESA's Rosetta comet chaser. In the early and late stages of its prolonged expedition, the spacecraft will sweep across the inner Solar System, where sunlight is plentiful. However, in order to rendezvous with Comet Wirtanen, Rosetta will have to probe beyond the asteroid belt, more than 5 times the Earth's distance from the Sun. In those frigid regions, the solar energy levels are only 4% of the those that we enjoy on our balmy planet.
Published: 22 March 2000
The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission to Comet Wirtanen is one of the most ambitious scientific missions to be launched during the next decade. A particular challenge posed by Rosetta is the problem of receiving a stream of data from a spacecraft which is flying alongside a small, fast-moving comet almost 900 million km from Earth.
Published: 2 March 2000
The test programme of the Rosetta Structural Thermal Model (STM) continuesto go with a bang. At the end of last week, the STM underwent a series ofshocking experiences in order to check its ability to survive the roughtreatment that will be meted out during launch. This was followed today bya deployment test of a giant solar array.
Published: 20 February 2000
Last Monday, Valentine's Day, NASA's NEAR satellite achieved a notable'first' when it entered orbit around a near-Earth asteroid named 433 Eros.While this romantic rendezvous should provide a host of new informationabout the potato-shaped little world, Eros is just one out of many millionsof asteroids roaming the Solar System.
Published: 15 February 2000
Environmental tests on the Structural Thermal Model (STM) of the Rosettaspacecraft are back in full swing after the long break for Christmas andMillennium celebrations. The latest endurance trial, known as a Sine (orSinusoidal) Test, was successfully completed today in the giant check-outroom at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in theNetherlands.
Published: 30 January 2000
Exactly three years to go before launch! That was the challenge facingapproximately 80 scientists and mission managers from ESA member countriesand the United States as they gathered this week at the European SpaceResearch and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in The Netherlands for a progressreport on the Rosetta mission to Comet Wirtanen.
Published: 23 January 2000
After its safe delivery to the European Space Research and TechnologyCentre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands, the Structural Thermal Model (STM) ofthe Rosetta spacecraft is ready to start an exhaustive series ofenvironmental tests.
Published: 14 December 1999
After a five day journey across Europe, the Structural and Thermal Model(STM) of the Rosetta spacecraft has arrived safely at the European SpaceResearch and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in The Netherlands.
Published: 5 December 1999
In Turin today the Italian satellite builder Alenia Aerospazio presented two ESA spacecraft that will explore the near and far Universe: Integral, the gamma-ray observatory, will gather the most energetic radiation coming from distant objects. Rosetta, the comet chaser, will bring new insights in the formation of our solar system.
Published: 23 November 1999
Thousands of scientists, students, industrialists and representatives ofspace agencies flocked to the RAI Congress Centre in Amsterdam this week to attend the 50th International Astronautical Congress. As ever, one of themain areas of interest for the visitors was an update on global unmannedspace exploration.
Published: 8 October 1999
Assembling a spacecraft by taking it to pieces may sound rather illogical,but that is exactly what has happened to the Rosetta Structural and ThermalModel (STM). Since its delivery to the Alenia Aerospazio plant in Turinduring August, the STM was separated into two sections - the payload module(PM), which will carry the scientific experiments, and the service module(SM) which will house the satellite's main subsystems. Over the next fewmonths, engineers will be working in two shifts in order to carry out theassembly, integration and test programmes on each module before they are once again united in late October.
Published: 20 September 1999
It may not seem much of a journey compared with a multi-million kilometre space trek, but ESA's Rosetta spacecraft today completed its first small step along the road to a rendezvous with Comet Wirtanen in 2011. After a 2000 km hike across Europe, the Structural and Thermal Model (STM) platform structure of the Rosetta orbiter was safely delivered this morning to Alenia Aerospazio's Turin plant.
Published: 18 August 1999
13-Aug-2020 02:48 UT

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