|Credits: ESA/AOES Medialab
On November 13, 2009, the Rosetta spacecraft will swing by Earth for the last time. This maneuver will provide the boost needed by the spacecraft to reach the outer Solar System. The critical swingby events are described on ESA’s web site.
Rosettaâ€™s mission began on March 2nd, 2004, when the spacecraft lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana. In order to optimize the use of fuel, the probe has a very complicated trajectory to reach its final target, the comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The long trajectory includes three Earth-gravity assists (2004, 2007, and 2009) and one at Mars (2007). The probe uses the gravity wells of Earth and Mars to accelerate to the speed needed for the rendezvous with the comet.
Read more about Rosetta…