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
16 April: Instrument commissioning continues (status report)
02 May: Commissioning in final stages (status report)
05 May: GIADA set to analyse comet dust
09 May: Calibration and a MIDAS selfie
We expect more instrument stories to be shared as we get closer to the comet, so do stay tuned!