On 20 January 2014, ESA’s comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft is set to wake up from 957 days in deep-space hibernation. Members of the media are invited to join ESA at its European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, to mark this momentous occasion.
Since its launch from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou on 2 March 2004, Rosetta has travelled to a distance of some 800 million kilometres from the Sun and close to the orbit of Jupiter, passing by Earth three times and Mars once, and flying past two asteroids. It is now closing in on its destination, Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, as it moves farther into the inner Solar System.
For the most distant part of the journey, the spacecraft was put into deep-space hibernation, but the time for Rosetta to wake up and prepare for the scientific adventure of the encounter with 67P/ Churyumov–Gerasimenko is now fast approaching. The spacecraft’s internal alarm clock is set for 10:00 GMT (11:00 CET) on 20 January, and the first signal from the spacecraft is expected no earlier than 17:30 GMT (18.30 CET).
Members of the media are invited to join ESA’s science and mission control experts and partners on Monday 20 January, from 10:00 CET, at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany for the day-long event.
Programme at ESOC - draft
(all times in CET)
10:15-10:30 Introduction and Welcome
10:30-11:30 Live reports from the Main Control Room:
-Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General
-Matthew Taylor, ESA Rosetta project scientist
-Paolo Ferri, Head of ESA’s Mission Operations
11:30-12:30 Interview opportunities
14:00-17:20 Science presentations and operations updates
-Science with the Rosetta orbiter
-Comets and asteriods
-Science with the Philae lander
18:30-20:00 Operations updates and future steps, Q&A and interview opportunities
Please register by 16 January 2014 at:
Directions to ESOC http://www.esa.int/About_Us/ESOC/Getting_to_ESOC
The press briefings will be livestreamed at www.esa.int/rosetta and www.livestream.com/eurospaceagency
Wake Up event on Social Media
Members of the public are invited to join in the day’s events by shouting #WakeUpRosetta ‘virtually’ at the @ESA_Rosetta twitter account. Once mission controllers have established contact with Rosetta, the @ESA_Rosetta Twitter channel will also wake up, making this the best immediate source for confirmation that the spacecraft is awake and ready for the final leg of its epic journey.
The Rosetta blog will follow the wake up milestones regularly and inform media and interested citizens about the crucial step of the mission. Follow Rosetta at blogs.esa.int/rosetta
Video submissions to the Wake Up Rosetta video contest www.facebook.com/rosettamission will be accepted until 17:30 GMT on 20 January. Entrants have the chance to win a VIP trip to ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt for the first-ever landing on a comet, in November 2014, and have their video message beamed into space towards Rosetta.
1964-2014: 50 years serving European Cooperation and Innovation
In 1964, the Conventions of the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO) and the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) entered into force. A little more than a decade later, the European Space Agency (ESA) was established, taking over from these two organisations.
2014 will be dedicated to addressing the future in the light of these 50 years of unique achievements in space, which have put ESA among the leading space agencies in the world.
The motto 'serving European cooperation and innovation' underlines how much ESA, together with the national delegations from its 20 Member States, space industry and the scientific community, has made a difference.
Fifty years of European cooperation in space is an anniversary for the whole space sector in Europe, which can be proud of its results and achievements. But it is more than that: it is a testimony that the idea of Europe, European identity and progress has been served by ESA, and that continues to be its mission for the future.
About the European Space Agency
The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe's gateway to space.
ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU.
ESA has Cooperation Agreements with eight other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.
ESA is also working actively with the EU, for the implementation of the programmes Galileo and Copernicus.
By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.
ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.
Today, it launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.
Learn more at www.esa.int
For further information:
ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99