Status Report

Today on the ESA TV Service Schedule 24 Jan 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
January 24, 2001
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Today’s transmission of the ESA TV Service includes: 24-Jan-01 14:00 – 14:30 GMT

Rosetta presentation

Two Years to launch for ESA’s Comet Chaser

Background information on the transmission:

Imagine firing at a fast-moving target in distant space with the aim of hitting it eight years later ñ and to do so in a bid to help discover more about life on Earth. That is what ESA is planning to do with the Rosetta space probe which will be launched in just two years — in January 2003. Rosetta’s lander will attach itself to comet Wirtanen, a lump of frozen ice and dust that is travelling through space at over 130,000 kilometres per hour. The Rosetta Orbiter will literally chase the comet for two years sending back valuable data and ensuring Europe retains its lead in comet science.

Rosetta will help explain the origins of life on Earth, as comets are the most primitive objects in the Solar System – the building blocks from which the planets formed. Virtually unchanged after 4.6 billion years in the deep freeze of the outer Solar System, they still contain unaltered ice and dust from their original solar nebula. They also contain complex organic compounds that some scientists believe may have been the building blocks for our Sun, the other planets, and life on Earth.

Today’s transmisson is a replay of a Rosetta presentation with extensive graphics and cometary background footage, produced in July 1999.

More background information can be found on

Transmission details:Eutelsat W1 at 10 degrees East Transponder B5, dig ch 1, horizontal
F=11.13475 MHz, SR=5.632 MS/sec, FEC=3/4

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SpaceRef staff editor.