[meteorite-list] Review Board Gives Green Light For Rosetta

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:06:16 2004
Message-ID: <200211211639.IAA11787_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

ESA Science News

21 Nov 2002

Review Board gives green light for Rosetta

With less than two months to launch, ESA's Rosetta comet
chaser is undergoing final preparations at Kourou spaceport
in French Guiana. Confidence is high after the green light
was given by the Rosetta Mission Flight Readiness Review
Board on 13 November 2002.

As engineers continued to ready the spacecraft for its
10-year interplanetary odyssey, about 40 representatives
of ESA and participating countries met in Kourou to assess
the flight readiness of the most ambitious robotic space
mission ever undertaken by Europe.

The Mission Flight Readiness Review Board -- which
comprised senior members of the Agency -- was co-chaired
by Professor David Southwood, ESA Science Director, and
Rene Bonnefoy, the ESA Inspector General. The Rosetta
Scientific Principal Investigators also attended the
review to present the status of the ground calibration
of their instruments.

After carefully reviewing all aspects of the mission, the
Board declared itself fully satisfied with the state of
the spacecraft, the payload, the Lander and the ground

"I am delighted to say that the Board identified no
'show stoppers' that will cause us to delay the launch,"
declared John Ellwood, Rosetta Project Manager. "There
are still some areas relating to preparation of the
launch vehicle that are a little behind schedule, but
we are confident that they will be completed in the
next few weeks."

Meanwhile, the 3-tonne Rosetta Orbiter has been assuming
its final form inside the spacecraft preparation facility
at Kourou. First the 2.2 metre diameter high-gain antenna
was carefully lifted into place and integrated with the
spacecraft's main structure. Then the huge solar arrays --
each 14 metres in length -- were gingerly extended and
stacked against the side of the Orbiter.

Once the all-embracing thermal blankets are once again
wrapped around the intrepid comet explorer, the way will
be clear for the filling of its fuel tanks and integration
with the Ariane-5 launcher.

The launch of Rosetta is scheduled for the night of 12-13
January 2003.


* More about Rosetta


[Image 1:
Successful High-Gain Antenna deployment test, 1 November 2002.

[Image 2:
Deployment test of Rosetta's solar arrays.

[Image 3:
Rosetta Lander integrated with the Orbiter at ESTEC, 3
December 2001: the spacecraft is lying on its side while
the Lander is lowered down onto the Orbiter.
Received on Thu 21 Nov 2002 11:39:41 AM PST

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