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Rosetta’s second Earth swing-by
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- Title Rosetta’s second Earth swing-by
- Released 21/11/2007 11:40 am
- Copyright ESA (Image by C. Carreau)
This is an artist’s rendition of Rosetta completing its second swing-by of Earth on 13 November this year.
This month’s Earth swing-by is Rosetta’s third major step on its 10-year journey to 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Closest approach will take place on 13 November 2007 at 21:57 CET, at which time Rosetta will speed past at 45 000 km/h (about 12.5 km/s) relative to Earth. At this time, Rosetta will be 5301km above the Pacific Ocean, south-west of Chile, at 63° 46’ south and 74° 35’ west.
The increased energy from this Earth swing-by will help Rosetta cross the asteroid belt for a second time, observe Lutetia (its second target asteroid) and finally rendezvous with comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The rendezvous will take place about 4 astronomical units or 600 million km from the Sun, in 2014.
During this Earth swing-by, a few experiments both on the orbiter and the Philae lander will be activated for calibration, scientific measurements and imaging. Rosetta will first point to Earth and then to the Moon for the observations.