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Rosetta Launch 2nd March 2004, Arianespace Flight 158

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Uploaded on Apr 6, 2009

The European Space Agency Launch of Rosetta on board an Ariane 5G Launch vehicle.

After two previous launch attempts had been postponed Rosetta finally set off on its long journey to comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 0717 UT 2 March 2004. Arianespace Flight 158, with its Ariane 5 rocket and modified upper stage, successfully placed Rosetta onto an escape trajectory and out into the solar system.

ORBIT:
Rosetta has a complex trajectory which includes four gravity assist manoeuvres (3 x Earth, 1 x Mars) before finally reaching the comet. On arrival at 67P Rosetta will enter orbit around the comet and stay with it as it journeys in towards the Sun.

MILESTONES:
To study the origin of comets, the relationship between cometary and interstellar material, and its implications with regard to the origin of the Solar System. The measurements to be made to achieve this are:

Global characterisation of the nucleus, determination of dynamic properties, surface morphology and composition.
Determination of the chemical, mineralogical and isotopic compositions of volatiles and refractories in a cometary nucleus.
Determination of the physical properties and interrelation of volatiles and refractories in a cometary nucleus.
Study of the development of cometary activity and the processes in the surface layer of the nucleus and the inner coma (dust/gas interaction);
Global characterisation of asteroids, including determination of dynamic properties, surface morphology and composition.

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