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
(all times in CET, programme subject to change)
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 asteroids
- 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: http://www.esa.int/WakeUpRosettaEvent
Directions to ESOC http://www.esa.int/About_Us/ESOC/Getting_to_ESOC
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.
Video submissions to the Wake Up Rosetta video contest 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.
For further information:
ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99