Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ESA - Rosetta Nears Asteroid Fly-by

Overshadowed by more glamorous missions to Venus, Mars, Saturn, etc., the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta mission approaches a scientifically interesting fly-by of asteroid 2867 Steins. The closest approach will occur on September fifth.

ESA just released this tracking image from Rosetta which shows Stein's relative movement.

"Rosetta spacecraft will be the first to undertake the long-term exploration of a comet at close quarters ... entering orbit around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, the spacecraft will release a small lander onto the icy nucleus, then spend the next two years orbiting the comet as it heads towards the Sun"

This asteroid fly-by is just a cool bonus to Rosetta's main mission but is interesting nonetheless. (Now if I could just get that darn Alice Cooper song out of my head).

More information on this fly-by and Rosetta in general is available at its homepage linked below.

<ESA Rosetta Homepage>


Daniel said...

ESA's Rosetta blog will start on 1 September 2008:

Beam Me Up said...

excellent Daniel! I will make a note to bring that up on the next program.