[SatNews] The leaders of the famed Rosetta program will present their operational highlights during a special “highlight lecture” at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Jerusalem—the event runs from October 12th to the 16th.
The International Rosetta mission is a cornerstone of the ESA scientific program. For the first time in the history of spaceflight, Rosetta achieved a rendezvous with a comet nucleus and delivered a lander module, Philae, onto its surface. The mission realization required almost 30 years to pass from the point of its initial conception. The interplanetary cruise took more than 10 years. The target, comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, was reached in August 2014. During the long cruise, the spacecraft had been put into a two and a half year “hibernation” before it dramatically awoke in January 2014 and began its main operational phase at the comet.
The IAC is a professional platform through which over 40 administrative and technical committees support the International Astronautical Federation in its mission to advance knowledge about space and to foster the development of space assets by facilitating global cooperation.
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"While Rosetta's highlights occurred last year, with the rendezvous with the comet and the landing of Philae, its mission continues today” said Dr. Paolo Ferri, Head of ESA Mission Operations and former Rosetta Flight Director, who will present the findings at IAC 2015. “The huge amount of information, pictures, scientific data and experience collected in more than one year around the comet is revolutionizing the science of comets and our knowledge of the history of the Solar System,” he continued.
Dr. Ferri will be joined in Jerusalem by Dr. Stephan Ulamec, the Philae Project Manager. “It was an extremely emotional moment to see after about 10 years of development of Philae and 10 years of cruise, data being received from the surface of a comet,” recalled Dr. Ulamec. "After having reported regularly at various IAC conferences going back to 1995, it is with great satisfaction that I will now be able to present the actual results after a successful landing.”