In January 2003, ESA's Rosetta space probe will be launched on a nine-year voyage to comet Wirtanen. Rosetta will be the first probe to land on a comet. Today's transmission is the first in a series of five TV Exchanges on Rosetta, and features the challenge-for the spacecraft and its operations-of chasing a comet at the far end of the solar system.
The programme comprises of a 8-minute A-roll with split track and commentary and is complemented by a B-Roll with clean international sound.
II. The comet chaser
November 2011. After a flight of nearly 9 years, ESA's Rosetta space probe is approaching its target: comet Wirtanen. Rosetta is now 1 billion kilometres away from Earth.
At the European Space Operations Centre ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany, the team of Paolo Ferrri and Manfred Warhout is ready and starts to establish contact with the satellite. Some of them have taken special precautions, just in case.
IN sound bite Question
Is there a problem?
IN sound bite Dr. Paolo Ferri ESOC Darmstadt
At the moment there is a minor problem with the system. We are trying to investigate why a tele command was not accepted by the spacecraft, now we have software people investigating, but this is a ground problem.
But despite the problem, Paolo still smiles and relaxes. We are in October of the year 2002 and Rosetta is actually still on the ground in Kourou in French Guiana, waiting for its launch. All this here is just a simulation.