The European Space Agency comet-rendezvous spacecraft Rosetta has recently captured some lovely images of an asteroid (see picture gallery). The detailed characteristics of the asteroid Lutetia, which is an irregularly-shaped object with a maximum dimension of the order of 130 km (80 miles), were little-known until the close approach on 10 July 2010. The spacecraft's closest approach distance was around 3160 km (1960 miles), when the relative speed was 15 km/sec (9.3 miles/sec). Well done to the Rosetta operations team at ESOC! Another achievement that emphasises that ESA has (over the last decade or so) come of age!
Graham Swinerd - I hope to use this page to highlight current major events in space and spacececraft.