Rosetta by nachtricht



5 tracks

Running time: 1:08:48
Released: 10/2015

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  01   Destination To Orbit a Comet - 14:40
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  02   Sleeping and Waking - 14:48
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  03   Re-connection - 22:10
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  04   Philae Lander Module - 8:36
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  05   Escorting 67P Around the Sun - 8:34
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More Info

For those interested much is available to be read about the Rosetta robotic space probe mission, so I will try not to repeat such information here. But my Nachtricht spacecraft, veteran of comet observations (see the Nachtricht ‘Cometalia’ album) had to visit first hand such a spectacular project, arriving to perform the first successful landing on a comet’s surface.

Together we flew past Mars and the asteroids 21 Lutetia and 2867 Steins, before reaching the comet 678. It is hoped that the mission will provide a better understanding, not only of comets themselves, but also of the early solar system.. It was the 1986 observations of Halley’s comet by various probes, including ESA’s Giotto, that provided data that made it clear a far more focused comet project was now necessary. An intended launch in 2003 to rendezvous with another comet (46P/Wirtanen) was abandoned after the failure of the Ariane 5 carrier rocket. Two later launch attempts were scrubbed before finally, in 2004, Rosetta was launched from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, the mission profile remaining virtually unaltered.

The required velocity to rendezvous with comet 67p used gravity assist manoeuvres to accelerate throughout the inner solar system. The Mars flyby was low altitude to correct trajectory. Nachtricht was always close by, but not so close as to interfere. The second (or three) Earth flybys, in 2007, resulted in the Rosetta spaceship being designated as Minor Planet 2007 VN, owing to it being mistaken for a near Earth asteroid. So far Nachtricht has escaped such designation, but who knows?

In 2014 both Rosetta and Nachtricht (briefly) entered orbit about 67P. Together we witnessed the dramatic “bouncing” of the Philae lander before it finally came to rest on the comet’s surface. As we know contact was lost but much data was still gathered. Philae’s later awakening proved nominal, but the main science continues as Rosetta escorts 67P around the sun. The end of the mission, in 2016, may involve an attempt to land the Rosetta itself on the surface of the comet – assuming of course that both have survived.

Obviously the craft Nachtricht has veered away long since, preferring to visit other new parts of the cosmos. Rather than die a hot, maybe quick, but painful solar death. So onwards fellow space journeymen, and together let’s see what else lies out there…