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February 24, 2014 - Rosetta's Stone

Rosetta’s Stone Ten years ago this week the European Space Agency launched the Rosetta spacecraft on a decade-long journey to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Rosetta swung past Earth three times and Mars once as it followed a circuitous path through the solar system designed to adjust its orbit to match that of the comet. In 2008 Rosetta made the first flyby of asteroid Steins and in 2010 it completed the first flyby of asteroid Lutetia, shown here. As Rosetta drew close to Lutetia, a giant bowl-shaped depression stretching across much of the asteroid rotated into view. Rosetta confirmed Lutetia to be an elongated body around 130 km (80 mi) long. After it reaches Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko later in 2014, Rosetta will escort the comet for a year and deploy a small lander.

Image credit: ESA 2010 MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS / UPD / LAM / IAA / RSSD / INTA / UPM / DASP / IDA

Weekly Calendar

February 24 - March 2, 2014

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 24

1968: Discovery of first pulsar announced
1969: Mariner 6 launched
2007Rosetta spacecraft flies by Mars
2011: STS-133 Discovery launched

Moon phase Tuesday 25

 

Moon phase Wednesday 26

Venus 0.4° south of Moon

1842: Camille Flammarion born
1966: First Saturn 1B rocket launched

Moon phase Thursday 27

Moon at perigee
Mercury 3° south of Moon
Mercury appears stationary

1897: Bernard Lyot born
1970: HL-10 sets lifting body altitude record of 90,300 feet

Moon phase Friday 28

1959: Discoverer 1 launched
1966: Gemini IX primary crew, Bassett & See, killed in plane crash
1990: STS-36 Atlantis launched
2007: New Horizons spacecraft flies past Jupiter en route to Pluto

Moon phase Saturday 1

New Moon 3:00 AM ET
Ceres appears stationary
Mars appears stationary

1927: George Abell born
1966: Venera 3 impacts on Venus
1982: Venera 13 returns first color photos from the surface of Venus
2002: STS-109 Columbia launched

Moon phase Sunday 2

Saturn appears stationary

1972: Pioneer 10 launched
1995: STS-67 Endeavour launched (Astro-2 mission)
2004: Rosetta cometary probe launched

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