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Safety & Security

N° 35–2014: Google+ briefing: Rosetta science and countdown to comet landing

4 November 2014

Media and interested members of the public are invited to join Rosetta mission experts online on Friday, 7 November for a briefing ahead of the historic comet landing on 12 November.

Short presentations will provide a summary of the scientific observations made from Rosetta so far, and an overview of the events taking place during the week of landing.

The scene will also be set on what science is still to come from Rosetta in 2015.

On landing day itself, Rosetta’s Philae lander will be released at 08:35 GMT/09:35 CET, with the confirmation of separation reaching Earth 28 min 20 sec later, at about 09:03 GMT/10:03 CET. It is expected to land on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko about seven hours later.

Events leading up to this historic milestone began on 28 October, with Rosetta starting a series of manoeuvres to put it onto the trajectory for lander separation. From late on 11 November to early on 12 November there will be five key Go/No-Go decisions before separation can be triggered. These critical milestones will be explained in the online briefing.


A G+ Hangout is a video conferencing service streamed to the Internet. You do not need a G+ account to watch, but if you plan to ask questions live then you will need to sign in.

The presentations will be followed by a dedicated Q&A session. You can submit questions in advance at:

You are also very welcome to pose questions live on the day via G+ or on Twitter using the hashtag #AskRosetta

Priority during the Q&A session is given to questions asked by members of the Media.

The event will be streamed online only via ESA’s Google+ Hangout page at: A replay will be available shortly afterwards, on both ESA’s Youtube and Google+ pages.

Indicate your attendance and receive notifications about this event via ESA’s Google+ event page at:

Draft programme

7 November, 15:00–16:30 GMT / 16:00–17:30 CET

Introduction: Emily Baldwin, ESA space science editor

Overview of media events: Jocelyne Landeau-Constantin, Head of ESOC communication office

Science from Rosetta so far: Matt Taylor, ESA Rosetta project scientist

Spacecraft status and operations timeline: Andrea Accomazzo, ESA Rosetta flight director

Key messages: Fred Jansen, ESA Rosetta mission manager

Q&A: all

Who, where and how to follow #CometLanding online: Emily Baldwin

About Rosetta

Rosetta is an ESA mission with contributions from its Member States and NASA. Rosetta’s Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI. Rosetta is the first mission in history to rendezvous with a comet. It is escorting the comet as they orbit the Sun, and will deploy a lander.

Comets are time capsules containing primitive material left over from the epoch when the Sun and its planets formed. By studying the gas, dust and structure of the nucleus and organic materials associated with the comet, via both remote and in situ observations, the Rosetta mission should become the key to unlocking the history and evolution of our Solar System, as well as answering questions regarding the origin of Earth’s water and perhaps even life.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides 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, Luxem-bourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU. Two other Member States of the EU, Hungary and Estonia, are likely soon to become new ESA Member States.

ESA has Cooperation Agreements with six other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

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 develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, naviga-tion, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

Learn more about ESA at

For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office


Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99