Talk:Rosetta (spacecraft)

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Gravity assist[edit]

from the website i've read that: "To gain enough orbital energy to reach its target, one Mars and three Earth gravity assists will be required" i was wondering, how exactly this is done? gravity assist

Itay2222 09:01, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Hi, first you have to realize that when a spacecraft comes close to a planet (or other heavy object) its trajectory will be changed. That's pretty easy to see. Then you need to remember that due to "Newtons Law" this action has a re-action, which means the trajectory of the planet is changed as well. Since that change is very small it can normally ignored. However, the concept that is requiring these changes is important. It is called a "conservation law." It states that, for instance, the total momentum of the two objects (planet and spacecraft) stays the same during the encounter! The planners of this mission will send Rosetta passing by the planet, so the momentum of the planet is decreased. Thus the momentum of the spacecraft is increased and it gains energy in the process. Awolf002 15:54, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)


I'm sorry, but I'm being bold as apparently I should be. What is otherwise a fantastic article, may have either a mistake or a potential misinterpretation. In the 'major events' section I read:

"The first and most important deep space maneuver was successfully executed and brings the space craft on its correct course, with a reported accuracy of 0.05 %. "

Surely 99.95%, or even and margin of error of 0.05%?

Hi, welcome and yes, be bold! Here is the ESA report where this figure was taken from. You are correct that it should be called "inaccuracy"! I will change the article. Awolf002 15:10, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Flyby of Mars - 2007-Feb-25 01:44:18 - 3650 km - (3396.2 x 3396.2 x 3376.2 km)

Better image? Other improvements?[edit]

The "computer model" image used two times in both the head and body of the article isn't very detailed, and really doesn't explain anything at all. What instruments are being carried? What type of solar panels does it use? All the little details are missing. Look at the Cassini page for a much better example of how this should be done. It's a mission a decade in length and this article is tiny. The most obvious to do would be to include an actual photograph of the spacecraft, possible in the assembly room, or maybe one of those really nice graphics they have on the main ESA site. Here's a good one. (10 pages of images of the probe and science results from the Earth flyby and more) [1]

This is what they say about use of the material. "ESA grants permission to users to visit the site, and to download and copy information, images, documents and materials from the website for users' personal non-commercial use." As far as I can tell, Wikipedia is non-commercial, so those 10 pages are useable. This would be the first step to getting this article to featured status before EOM (End of mission):) --Planetary 17:11, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, that permission is not compatible with GFDL. There was a discussion with ESA some time ago (like 20 months) to gain access to ESA images with similar 'license' as to those made by NASA, but I think nothing has changed. Sorry, we will have to refrain from using them, IMO Awolf002 23:39, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps they can be uploaded with Template:promotional? I think that this case fits perfectly with that template... // Duccio (write me) 08:40, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I doubt that. Copyrights are asserted by the creator or owner of the artwork, not the 'consumer'. And we can not (re-)interpret their intentions any other way than they are explicitly stated in the ESA web page. Awolf002 19:04, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Just found the page about the ESA image issue. It seems to be a complicated mess, so I'm finding it difficult to undertsand why we can't use Template:ESA-multimedia? There are already 68 images closely or not closely related to Rosetta[2], and a number of better images of the spacecraft then what is currently up. I confess that I've probably overlooked some critical detail, so just feel free to shoot my idea down. :) --Planetary 08:48, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Hi I have created a screenshot using Celestia[3] and added it to the page. It is a much more detailed than the previous image which really looks nothing like Rosetta. I also do have some pictures of the actual spacecraft taken by myself prior to the spacecraft being shipped to Kourou for launch and also have pictures of the full scale engineering model of Rosetta located at ESOC which I can also add if people wish. --IanShazell 02:12, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
You sir, are a genius! Problem solved, or at least that one is.--Planetary 02:23, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Merge 2007 VN84?[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

The result of this discussion was not to merge. Awolf002 12:28, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Against merger[edit]

  • I believe this should be kept at a separate page but linked to the Rossetta page as it shows both the sensitivity of the searches and the danger of mis-identification 07:14, 14 November 2007 (UTC)John Murrell
  • This not an alternate name, but the story of a mistake. It seems to be notable enough to stay separate for now, since many people looking for that story will use that designation. Awolf002 19:08, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm against the merger as per the two reasons stated above. ;) Very good reasons!EverybodyHatesChris (talk) 20:00, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Whereas the two objects are one and the same, and 2007 VN84 is now retired, the story of the two objects is quite different. One is a spacecraft, the other is a story of mistaken identity, of the search for NEOs, of the sensitivity of the search etc. They are really two very different stories, even though the object is the same. (talk) 10:27, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Alastor Moody 04:06, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

For merger[edit]

  • I suggest to merge and redirect directly to the subsection, so people will find it. --Cspan64 18:48, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Merge and protected redirect - the designation has been retired, the redirect will bring searchers to the relevant article, and a mention can certainly be made in the lead if there is concern over confusion for readers. ---Ckatzchatspy 09:49, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

And yet still it was merged...[edit]

See: Talk:2007 VN84#Not merge.... but still merged?. SkywalkerPL (talk) 09:31, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

That discussion was from more than six years ago, and the merger happened in 2009. Times change, standards change, and how we handle redirects has shifted significantly since that time. It simply isn't acceptable by today's standards for such an article to exist. Huntster (t @ c) 09:52, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Shouldn't it have gone through the voting too? I thought that all of the mergers like that should be voted on, especially if they were voted before. SkywalkerPL (talk) 11:14, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
It should have been, but having also been five years since the merger happened, it would be overly bureaucratic to undo something that's been de-facto accepted by the community. Huntster (t @ c) 11:27, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for explanation :) SkywalkerPL (talk) 08:02, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Rosetta Disk[edit]

Rosetta disk goes back to the future

This ESA article says that a Rosetta Disk was mounted on the space craft, where should it be placed in the article? -- (talk) 00:09, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the disk onboard Rosseta (Rosetta Project) -containing 1000 languages- is noteworthy. It already has a WP article but a short summary should be placed in this article. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 20:10, 23 August 2014 (UTC)-+*------

Venus Express[edit]

Something should be said about the use of instrument spares from this program on Venus Express (talk) 07:35, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Why is the Failed Mars Missions template included?[edit]

I'd have deleted it as inappropriate but I can't actually find it in the edit space. The ultimate goal of the mission may or may not succeed, but its Mars flypast was fine. (talk) 15:35, 20 January 2012 (UTC)


This is just to explain an edit I just made to the overview section, where I changed "besides" to "aside from" in the sentence originally worded, "Besides the changes made to launch time and target, the mission profile remains almost identical." You may think the original wording had the same meaning as the changed one. In fact they are quite the opposite of one-another. "Besides" means in addition to. It is used when two truths coexist one beside the other with neither negating the other, e.g. "besides being an accomplished astronomer, he was also a skilled mathematician." By contrast, "aside from" connotes subtraction (as opposed to addition). It is used where the element to be subtracted or disregarded tends to negate the remainder, e.g. "aside from its poor English, the article was otherwise quite good."


In the figure the name of Churyumov is misspelled as "Churimov". Does anybody know the source of the figure? Tkuvho (talk) 12:10, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

My guess is that it's a regional spelling variation. I'm seeing some instances, even at NASA and ESA, of the comet being referred to as "Churimov-Gerasimenko". The graphic should be updated if someone has the ability (way beyond my ability). Better yet, recreate it in PNG format for a more professional appearance (and with consistent font usage as well). Kudos to the original author for creating it for us, but the heavy JPG compression doesn't help things. Huntster (t @ c) 14:45, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
The Russian spelling at clearly supports the "Churyumov" transliteration. There is no room here for regional spelling variations as there are none. Tkuvho (talk) 16:29, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done - corrected image spelling of File:Rosetta 111106.jpg to => 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko - also, adj font size to "24" and font type to "Carbon block" (via JASC Paint Shop Pro v6.02) for easier viewing - unable to overwrite the original .JPG format version with a .PNG format version (upload halted) for some reason - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 17:02, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! Tkuvho (talk) 17:51, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Tkuvho, I was definitely not arguing for keeping that spelling, just making an observation. Thanks Drbogdan for making that fix. Huntster (t @ c) 00:52, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

'Overview' section subdivision[edit]

I'm planning to put a section in relating to the 2006 leak in the RCS and how it impacts the mission but looking at this lead me on to thinking about the 'overview' section, to me it should be subdivided into the separate stages of the mission, nominally - Planning, Construction, Launch, Deep Space Manoeuvres (again to be subdivided?), Orbit of 67P/C-G & End of life. If no one has any objections I'll have a crack at breaking the section down over the weekend, but if anyone has any concerns/suggestions let me know. Markh89 (talk) 19:15, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Go for it. The better organized it is, the better we can handle the editing rush when Rosseta establishes orbit on the comet. BatteryIncluded (talk) 20:03, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Section subdivided. Thanks BatteryIncluded for proof reading! Markh89 (talk) 12:49, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Deep space manoeuvres[edit]

"The asteroid's orbit was known before Rosetta's launch, from ground-based measurements..."

It's not clear at this point in the article, which asteroid is being discussed. Anyone care to clarify this?

Kortoso (talk) 17:11, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Yes, it is a comet, not an asteroid. BatteryIncluded (talk) 17:26, 6 August 2014 (UTC)


"Abundance" or "quantity"?

"Abundance" may perhaps be a technically correct term in the UK, but it gives the wrong impression to the hoi polloi, methinks. Kortoso (talk) 17:13, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. CHeers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 17:29, 6 August 2014 (UTC)


The ESA website talks about a NavCam (like here), but finding any information on it is easier said than done (but I found this). Some details about it should be added to the article, methinks. A mention under the instrument list does not seem out of place, even if its main purpose is not science. --Njardarlogar (talk) 21:44, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

That's a nice list of specifications about the NavCam. Does it matter that it comes from NASA instead of ESA? I suppose since NASA has the information, it must have been shared with them voluntarily by ESA. If that aspect isn't an issue, then I wouldn't be against a mention of it. I don't think, however, that putting it in the instruments section would be reasonable. The transponders on Rosetta could also be considered to be instruments under your definition, but they are listed separately. Perhaps a separate section entirely for cameras would be in order? How many non-scientific cameras does Rosetta have? Regardless, good on you for catching this. - Scrat9518 (talk) 14:08, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
I read a little of the available publications on several instruments and I am still not sure if the star traker and the NavCam are the same instrument with a switch of the the optical bench. Has anybody a clue about this? It was built by Officine Galileo Bibcode2000ESASP.425..279B.--Stone (talk) 17:51, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
This NavCam is a star tracker for navigation. It is a standard equipment for any space probe. I don't think it is notable, unless you want to list all the non-scientific systems or non scientific payload in the probe. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 17:59, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Currently, at least, the NavCam is taking daily pictures of the comet. These pictures have scientific value on their own (AFAIK, some of the best pictures currently available to the general public, herein most/all scientists not part of the project, are NavCam ones), although they do indeed provide a lower surface resolution than OSIRIS and are thus likely to be redundant scientifically in the longer run (unless they happen to capture an event of a short duration that therefore does not appear on OSIRIS pictures). --Njardarlogar (talk) 17:50, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
I think it would be reasonable to mention it in the article, but based on the definition of the word instrument (or here), I don't think it should simply be listed with those mechanisms that are designed specifically for science. Having said that, I believe that we have at least three options:
  • We could make an entirely new section.
  • We could put it under a new section in "Instruments", provided that it is made clear that the NavCam is either not used entirely for science and/or was not designed with science in mind.
  • We could mention it under "Construction and Design".
I tend to like the last option the best, while the second also seems reasonable to me. Thoughts?
- Scrat9518 (talk) 14:40, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Rendezvous vs. flyby[edit]

From ESA's press release: "After a decade-long journey chasing its target, ESA’s Rosetta has today become the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet..." Clearly ESA does not equate a flyby with a rendezvous, and I don't think it makes sense to do so. Consider the word in human terms. If you have a planned meeting with a friend in a bar or hotel room, that would be considered a rendezvous. Driving past your friend's house without stopping would not be considered a rendezvous, even if one planned in advance to wave at them while going by. It would not be considered a "meeting" because meeting someone typically implies eliminating relative motion. We might as well use "rendezvous" in the sense that ESA and others in the space community do. WolfmanSF (talk) 04:16, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

As long as you make clear that it is not the first probe to approach a comet. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 04:18, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Agree that Rosetta is rendezvousing with 67P at this time, with the intent to orbit later. I may be missing something, but where does the article imply that Rosetta is doing a flyby? Just curious as to what prompted this post. Huntster (t @ c) 05:23, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree with rendezvous - compare Space rendezvous and planetary flyby.Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 05:32, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Space rendezvous seems the technical wording. Thank you. BatteryIncluded (talk) 13:10, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
I have mentioned, and added a link to, previous comet flyby missions. WolfmanSF (talk) 00:32, 10 August 2014 (UTC)