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Science & Exploration

N° 11–2004: ESA’s Rosetta comet chaser ready for lift-off - Follow the Rosetta launch from an ESA or Arianespace establishment

17 February 2004

On 26 February at 04:36 a.m. Kourou time (07:36 a.m. GMT - 08:36 a.m. CET), Rosetta is scheduled to be launched on board an Ariane-5 launcher from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.


Originally timed to begin about a year ago, Rosetta's journey had to be postponed. This delay meant that the original mission's target, Comet Wirtanen, could no longer be reached. Instead, a new target has been selected, Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which Rosetta will encounter in 2014 after a "billiard ball" journey through the Solar System lasting more than ten years. This will be the first mission to orbit and land on a comet.

Media representatives in Europe can follow the launch of Rosetta and initial orbital operations at ESA/Darmstadt (ESOC) in Germany - which will be acting as the main press centre - ESA Noordwijk (ESTEC) in the Netherlands or ESA/Frascati (ESRIN) in Italy. At each site ESA specialists will be available for interviews. Also Arianespace at Evry will cater for media.

Media representatives wishing to attend are asked to complete the attached reply form and fax it to the Communication Office at the establishment of their choice.

The ESA TV Service will provide live televised coverage of the launch and initial orbital operations with English commentary, between 05:30 and 10:30 GMT:

Satellite :ASTRA 2 C at 19 degrees East

Transponder 57, horizontal, MPEG-2, MCPC

Frequency 10832 MHz, Symbol Rate 22000 MS/sec, FEC+5/6 Service Name: ESA

Details of the transmission schedule and the various pre-launch Video News Releases can be found on

For more information on the Rosetta mission and the launch activities, visit the ESA web pages at:

For more information on the ESA science programme, visit :

For further information, please contact:

ESA Media Relations Division

Tel: +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)



Launch on Thursday 26 February 2004

First Name :________________Surname :____________________

Media :__________________________________________________




Tel : _______________________ fax: _______________________

Mobile :_____________________ e-mail:______________________

I will be attending the ROSETTA launch event at the following site:

[ ]Germany:

Location: ESA/ESOC

Address: Robert-Bosch Strasse 5, Darmstadt, Germany

Opening hours: 7:00–13:00

Contact: Jocelyne Landeau-Constantin

Tel: +49(0)6151.90.26.96

Fax: +49(0)6151.90.29.61

Info line: +49(0)6151.90.26.09

[ ] The Netherlands

Location : Newton Conference Room, ESA/ESTEC

Address: Keplerlaan, 1, Noordwijk, the Netherlands

Opening hours: 07:00-12:00

Contact: Heidi Graf

Tel: +31(0)71.565.3006 - Fax: +31(0)71.565.5728

Info line: +31(0)71.565.8016

[ ]Italy

Location: Magellan Conference Room - ESA/ESRIN

Address: Via G. Galilei, Frascati (Rome), Italy

Opening hours: 07:45-12:00

Contact: Franca Morgia,

Tel:+39.06.9418.0951 - Fax:+39.06.9418.0952

[ ] France

Location: Arianespace

Address: Boulevard de l’Europe, 91006 Evry

Opening hours: 07:45-12:00

Tel:+33.(0) - Fax:+33.(0)1.60.8763.04

Please complete the form and fax it to the site of your choice


For further information:

ESA Media Relations Division

Tel: +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)