VIRTIS is the Visible, InfraRed and Thermal Imaging Spectrometer on ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft. It will provide information on the composition of the solid materials on the nucleus as well as mapping their distribution on the surface, and of the gases and molecules in the coma.
VIRTIS was built by a consortium under the scientific responsibility of the Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali of INAF in Rome, Italy, which also guides the scientific operations. The consortium includes Laboratoire d’Études Spatiales et d’Instrumentation en Astrophysique of the Observatoire de Paris (FR) and the Institut für Planetenforschung of DLR (DE). Instrument development was funded and managed by the national space agencies: Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI, IT), Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES, FR) and the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR, DE). Full support from the Rosetta Science Operations Centre and the Rosetta Mission Operations Centre is gratefully acknowledged. VIRTIS calibrated data will be available through the ESA Planetary Science Archive website.