IAPS instruments and projects for Solar System's exploration

SPECIAL: Rosetta’s Timeline

In Orange: Past events
In violet: Future events

02/03/2004 – Rosetta Launch

04/03/2005-  First Earth fly-by 
Rosetta first travels away from its home planet and then encounters Earth again, a year after launch, at a fly-by distance between 300 and 14 000 kilometres. Operations mainly involved tracking, orbit determination, payload check-out and orbit correction.

04/07/2005 – Comet Tempel Observations 

05/02/2007 – Mars fly-by
Rosetta flies past Mars in February 2007 at a distance of about 200 kilometres, obtaining some science observations. An eclipse of Earth by Mars lasts for about 37 minutes, causing a communication black-out.  

13/11/2007 Second Earth fly-by
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05/09/2008 Steins  fly-by
On 5 September 2008, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft made a historic encounter with asteroid (2867) Steins.
Images from Rosetta’s OSIRIS imaging system and VIRTIS infrared spectrometer were derived from raw data and have delivered spectacular results to the public in a conference at ESOC.
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13/11/2009 Third Earth fly-by

10/07/2010 Asteroid Lutetia fly-by
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05/2011 Beginning of Deep-space hibernation
During this hibernation period, Rosetta records its maximum distances from the Sun (about 800 million kilometres) and Earth (about 1000 million kilometres).

11/2013 Rosetta approaching the comet’s nucleus
The spacecraft arrived in the comet’s vicinity in May 2014. Rosetta’s thrusters will then brake the spacecraft, so that it can match Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s orbit.
Over a six months period, it will edge closer to the black, dormant nucleus until it is only a few dozen kilometres away. The way will then be clear for the exciting transition to global mapping, lander deployment and the comet chase towards the Sun.