Friday, February 5, 2010

The 2030 Post had a reference to ESA's Rosetta Craft landing on the Steins asteriod upon its return to Earth in 2020. Rosetta is shadowing Steins....

Rosetta spacecraft meets asteroid Steins

Here is an UpDATE on the mission of ESA's Rosetta as it follows Steins around the solar system.


25 August 2008
ESA PR 35-2008. ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft will make a historic encounter with asteroid (2867) Steins on 5 September 2008. The doors of ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, will be open to the media as of 18:00 on 5 September to follow the fly-by events.

First images and results will be available for presentation to the media during a press conference which will be held at ESOC the following day, Saturday 6 September at 12:00 CEST.
Steins is Rosetta’s first nominal scientific target. The spacecraft will rendezvous with the asteroid in the course of its first incursion into the asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, while on its way to comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The study of asteroids is extremely important as they represent a sample of Solar System material at different stages of evolution – key to understanding the origin of our own planet and of our planetary neighbourhood.

The closest approach to Steins is due to take place on 5 September at 20:58 CEST (Central European Summer Time), from a distance of 800 km, during which the spacecraft will not be communicating with Earth. First ground contact with the spacecraft and announcement of successful fly-by will take place at 22:23 CEST. The first data and images collected by Rosetta will be sent to Earth throughout the night of 5 to 6 September and will undergo preliminary processing in the morning of 6 September. The first images will be made available for broadcasters via a special satellite feed on Saturday 6 September (details will be given on

To register for the events, please use the form linked from the right menu. The press conference on 6 September will also be streamed on the ESA web: at

No comments: