Posted on 16/01/2014 by Daniel
The most important alarm clock in the Solar System
At 10:00 GMT on Monday, the most important alarm clock in the Solar System will wake up ESA’s sleeping Rosetta spacecraft.
Rosetta’s computer is programmed to carry out a sequence of events to re-establish contact with Earth on 20 January, starting with an ‘alarm clock’ at 10:00 GMT.
Immediately after, the spacecraft’s startrackers will begin to warm up, taking around six hours.
Then its thrusters will fire to stop the slow rotation. A slight adjustment will be made to Rosetta’s orientation to ensure that the solar arrays are still facing directly towards the Sun, before the startrackers are switched on to determine the spacecraft’s attitude.