It's the 6th of August 2014 - a remarkable day in astronautical history as Rosetta has finally rendezvoused with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. A thruster burn of 6.5 minutes duration finally brought it to a speed relative to the nucleus of 1 meter/sec, as the process of orbit insertion begins, after a 10 year, 6.4 billion km journey. The speed of the comet (and the spacecraft) in their shared orbit around the Sun is of the order of 15.3 km/sec. Transmission time from spacecraft to Earth is about 22 minutes. The remarkable accompanying images shows that Comet 67P is indeed an irregularly-shaped body, making the task of quantifying its gravity field (prior to the landing in November) an interesting and challenging one.
8/7/2014 08:14:34 pm
Thank you again Graham. I'm watching the news and I'm following your blog carefully. It's just amazing what's happening at the moment. The new images are proving the quality of the first ones. We're expecting much more images and info about the gravity, and eventually a right solution of the problem with the probe landing.
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Graham Swinerd - I hope to use this page to highlight current major events in space and spacececraft.