Rosetta instruments ready for action

Artist impression of Rosetta and Philae at comet 67P. Credit: ESA–C. Carreau/ATG medialab

Artist impression of Rosetta and Philae at comet 67P. Credit: ESA–C. Carreau/ATG medialab

It’s official, Rosetta instruments are ready for action! The Rosetta team had a commissioning ‘close out’ review yesterday where each of the orbiter and lander instruments were given a formal ‘go’ for routine science operations.

Rosetta Mission Manager Fred Jansen says: “As you’ve read here on the blog already, a couple of the instruments were a little sleepy to start with, but we are very pleased – and relieved – to find that they are now all in good working order, ready to analyse the comet and its environment.”

Today, 14 May, Rosetta is around 1.5 million kilometres from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and has already checked off one of ten rendezvous manoeuvres needed to arrive at the comet in August.

Now that we’ve cleared these two milestones – commissioning and a successful test burn manoeuvre – we can share some much-awaited new views of the comet with you… later this week. No spoilers now, but you won’t be disappointed!

Read more about the manoeuvres here.

And here’s a summary of the instrument-related blog posts we’ve had during the 6-week instrument commissioning period:

14 March: Instrumental (status report)

25 March: Payload commissioning underway (status report)

26 March: Introducing MIDAS

27 March: Waking up MIDAS

27 March: Gotcha! Rosetta sets sights on comet (OSIRIS)

28 March: Rosetta’s lander is awake

28 March: Software upgrade at 655 million kilometres (MIDAS)

09 April: Introducing SD2

15 April: COSIMA checked out and ready for collecting comet dust

16 April: Instrument commissioning continues (status report)

28 April: Rosetta’s plasma experiments check out of commissioning 

02 May: Commissioning in final stages (status report)

05 May: GIADA set to analyse comet dust

09 May: Calibration and a MIDAS selfie

09 May: ROSINA: good things come to those who wait!

We expect more instrument stories to be shared as we get closer to the comet, so do stay tuned!

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