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    Deep Space Sleep: Rosetta Wakes For The First Time In 31 Months
    By News Staff | January 20th 2014 01:44 PM | 2 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    Rosetta is currently chasing down Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where it will become the first space mission to rendezvous with a comet, the first to attempt a landing on a comet’s surface and the first to follow a comet as it swings around the Sun.

    But for 31 months it has been radio silent. It is powered by solar energy and was placed into deep space slumber in June of 2011 as it cruised out to a distance of nearly 500 million miles from Sol, beyond the orbit of Jupiter. Now it is only about 400 million miles from the Sun and has enough solar energy to power back up.

    To everyone's relief, it did. 

    Since its launch in 2004, Rosetta has made three flybys of Earth and one of Mars to help it on course to its rendezvous with 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, encountering asteroids Steins and Lutetia along the way.

    It's still 5.5 million miles from its target but Rosetta’s pre-programmed internal ‘alarm clock’ woke up the spacecraft. After warming up its key navigation instruments, coming out of a stabilizing spin, and aiming its main radio antenna at Earth, Rosetta sent a signal to let mission operators know it had survived the most distant part of its journey. 


    Credit: ESA

    The signal was received by NASA’s Goldstone ground station in California at 18:18 GMT/ 19:18 CET, during the first window of opportunity the spacecraft had to communicate with Earth. It was immediately confirmed in ESA’s space operations centre in Darmstadt and the successful wake-up announced via the @ESA_Rosetta twitter account, which tweeted: “Hello, World!”

    “We have our comet-chaser back,” says Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration. “With Rosetta, we will take comet exploration to a new level. This incredible mission continues our history of ‘firsts’ at comets, building on the technological and scientific achievements of our first deep space mission Giotto, which returned the first close-up images of a comet nucleus as it flew past Halley in 1986.”


    Happiness. Credit: ESA/Jürgen Mai

    Comets are considered the primitive building blocks of the Solar System and likely helped to ‘seed’ Earth with water, perhaps even the ingredients for life. But many fundamental questions about these enigmatic objects remain, and through its comprehensive, in situ study of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Rosetta aims to unlock the secrets contained within.

    “All other comet missions have been flybys, capturing fleeting moments in the life of these icy treasure chests,” says Matt Taylor, ESA’s Rosetta project scientist. “With Rosetta, we will track the evolution of a comet on a daily basis and for over a year, giving us a unique insight into a comet’s behavior and ultimately helping us to decipher their role in the formation of the Solar System.”

    Source: ESA

    Comments

    Our home planet is present before us, likewise just at this time it is again submerged into the depth or the past from another place of space. In this way; both places are same i.e. dark energy and big bang on this place or omnivorous. Space-time and physics is the result in our life-time i.e. lifeless position is in the dark energy. As an example; In the evolution, looking near about 14 billion years past location is event horizon yet some one looking our place is event horizon if her goal is 14 billion years past. Consequently lawfully, we can take decision that our universe is huge yet between the infinitesimal such as brain cell. Finally as I see it that my Universe is early or Copy such likes CD i.e. Digital Universe: Early or Copy i.e. Digital Universe at http://twitpic.com/4cjmuq

    rholley
    Rosetta coming out of her sleep?

    A bit mischievous, maybe, but how about this?


    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England