What Rosetta does now

The animation below was updated just yesterday and shows a precise rendering of the orbit that Rosetta will now follow. This animation starts off with today’s thruster burn and runs through until early October. The key points include:

  • Triangular, un-captured orbit for the first few weeks, until Rosetta gets down to about 30 km height
  • Note there must be a thruster burn at each apex of the (successively lower) triangles to keep Rosetta ‘at’ the comet; these will take place every Wed/Sun for now
  • Orbit becomes circular as we get down below 30 km and pass from the global mapping phase to the close observation phase



  • ANDY QUACH says:

    What do they use to push Rosetta craft ?

    does it have engine pushing it like airplane ?

    • yuping says:

      space craft will continue to move at whatever speed last attained in a straight line at about 55,000 km/h in space until something attracted it by gravity. for this case, Rosetta’s speed and flight path had been adjusted through use of it boosters (a few thrusters from solid fuel on board and not continuous firing) to orbit around 67p.

      • Andrew R Brown says:

        I thought Rosetta had liquid fuelled thrusters. Solid propellants would only be one trick ponies, useful for a powerful one off thrust, but not so good for small thrusters.

  • Bear says:

    Most probably small rockets(?) Engines on airplanes pushes/pulls air behind the airplane, in space you would have to push something else behind you for propulsion, ie rockets/ion drive/something else. Remember Newtons laws, something has to be propelled the opposite direction for you to go forward.

  • Francis Fitz. says:

    Fantastic , Great Job.
    Imagine, how many you could put out there for the cost of one aircraft carrier.

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