We are working on flight control and science operations for Rosetta, now orbiting comet 67P, and Philae, which landed on the comet surface last week. Ask us Anything! AMA!
We're some of the engineers and scientists working on flight dynamics, operations and science for Rosetta (orbiter) and Philae (lander) and we're looking forward to your questions.
- Ignacio Tanco, Rosetta Deputy Spacecraft Operations Manager, ESOC, Darmstadt
- Francesco Castellini, Flight Dynamics Specialist, ESOC, Darmstadt
- Ramon Pardo, Flight Dynamics Specialist, ESOC, Darmstadt
- Pablo Munoz, Flight Dynamics Specialist, ESOC, Darmstadt
- Armelle Hubault, Rosetta Spacecraft Operations Engineer, ESOC, Darmstadt
- Tiago Francisco, Rosetta Spacecraft Operations Engineer, ESOC, Darmstadt
- Matthias Eiblmaier, Rosetta Spacecraft Operations Engineer, ESOC, Darmstadt
- Cinzia Fantinati, Philae Lander Operations Manager, DLR/Cologne
- Valentina Lommatsch, Philae Lander Operations Engineer, DLR/Cologne
- Oliver Kuechemann, Philae Lander Operations Engineer & Onboard Software Specialist, DLR/Cologne
- Laurence O'Rourke, Rosetta Science Operations Coordinator & ESA Lander System Engineer, ESAC, Madrid
- Daniel Scuka, Senior Editor for Spacecraft Operations, ESOC, Darmstadt
The team will be here Thursday, 20 November, 18:00 GMT || 19:00 CET || 13:00 EST || 10:00 PST
++ AMA COMPLETE: WE ARE LOGGING OFF FOR THE NIGHT AS OF 20:25CET. THANK YOU FOR SOME EXCELLENT AND EXTREMELY THOUGH-PROVOKING QUESTIONS. THE TEAM MAY HAVE TIME TOMORROW MORNING TO CHECK BACK ON ANY NEW QUESTIONS ++
A bit about Rosetta and Philae:
Rosetta and Philae were launched in March 2004, and arrived at 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko on 6 August 2014 (after making three Earth and one Mars gravity assists and two asteroid flybys). On 12 November, the Philae lander separated from Rosetta to make a 7-hr descent to the surface, where it rebounded twice before coming to a stop at a still not fully determined location. During descent and for 57 hours on the surface, the lander returned a wealth of scientific data, completing the full planned science mission. With its batteries depleted, Philae is now in hibernation with hopes that improved illumination early in 2015 (as the comet nears the Sun) will enable it to wake up.
Meanwhile, ESA's Rosetta mission is continuing, and the spacecraft is conducting a series of manoeuvres in November and December that will see its orbit optimised for science observations at between 20 and 30 km above the comet. It will follow the comet into 2015 as it arcs toward the Sun.
Rosetta is operated from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), Darmstadt, Germany, while science operations are conducted at the Rosetta Science Operations Centre (ESAC), Madrid, Spain. The Philae Lander Control Centre (LCC) is located at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) establishment near Cologne, Germany.