A Little Known Fact About The Rosetta Comet Rendezvous and Landing Mission

A guest post by Joseph Friedlander
The current Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is remarkable for this reason: It is the first probe using gravity assists to a target that itself has undergone gravity assists, in this case from Jupiter.  Ten years before discovery in 1969, the 1959 Jovian encounter reduced cometary perihelion (closest point to Sun) to 1.29 AU close enough for conspicuous and outgassing which helped it’s discovery in 1969.  Decades later, the European Space Agency built and launched the Rosetta probe with multiple gravity assists to reach a target which itself had undergone multiple encounters with Jupiter. 
More details on this page http://sci.esa.int/rosetta/14615-comet-67p/
Quote: Comet 67P is classed as a dusty comet, with a dust to gas emission ratio of approximately 2:1. The peak dust production rate in 2002/03 was estimated at approximately 60 kg per second, although values as high as 220 kg per second were reported in 1982/83.
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Diameter of nucleus – estimated (km) 3 × 5
Rotation period (hours) ~12.4
Orbital period (years) 6.45
Perihelion distance from Sun (million km) 186 (1.243 AU)
Aphelion distance from Sun (million km) 849.7 (5.68 AU)
Orbital eccentricity 0.640
Orbital inclination (degrees) 7.04
Year of discovery 1969
Discoverers Klim Churyumov &
Svetlana Gerasimenko
Jets are now visible at the ‘wasp waist’ of the nucleus– coverage here 

Details on Rosetta’s gravity assists http://www.solarviews.com/eng/rosetta.htm
Projected landing sites covered here
ESA / Rosetta / CNES
Five possible landing sites for Philae (shape model)

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A Little Known Fact About The Rosetta Comet Rendezvous and Landing Mission

A guest post by Joseph Friedlander
The current Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is remarkable for this reason: It is the first probe using gravity assists to a target that itself has undergone gravity assists, in this case from Jupiter.  Ten years before discovery in 1969, the 1959 Jovian encounter reduced cometary perihelion (closest point to Sun) to 1.29 AU close enough for conspicuous and outgassing which helped it’s discovery in 1969.  Decades later, the European Space Agency built and launched the Rosetta probe with multiple gravity assists to reach a target which itself had undergone multiple encounters with Jupiter. 
More details on this page http://sci.esa.int/rosetta/14615-comet-67p/
Quote: Comet 67P is classed as a dusty comet, with a dust to gas emission ratio of approximately 2:1. The peak dust production rate in 2002/03 was estimated at approximately 60 kg per second, although values as high as 220 kg per second were reported in 1982/83.
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Diameter of nucleus – estimated (km) 3 × 5
Rotation period (hours) ~12.4
Orbital period (years) 6.45
Perihelion distance from Sun (million km) 186 (1.243 AU)
Aphelion distance from Sun (million km) 849.7 (5.68 AU)
Orbital eccentricity 0.640
Orbital inclination (degrees) 7.04
Year of discovery 1969
Discoverers Klim Churyumov &
Svetlana Gerasimenko
Jets are now visible at the ‘wasp waist’ of the nucleus– coverage here 

Details on Rosetta’s gravity assists http://www.solarviews.com/eng/rosetta.htm
Projected landing sites covered here
ESA / Rosetta / CNES
Five possible landing sites for Philae (shape model)

If you liked this article, please give it a quick review on ycombinator or StumbleUpon. Thanks

Subscribe on Google News