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Comet Hunters: Replica Rosetta to test commands

Comet Hunters: Replica Rosetta to test commands
By Euronews

<p>All year we are following <span class="caps">ESA</span>’s Rosetta mission as the team hunts down a comet and then puts a lander on its surface. How are they progressing? </p> <p>Jake and Armelle are in the clean room at <span class="caps">ESA</span>’s operations centre in Germany, testing commands on an exact copy of the spacecraft:</p> <p>Jakub Urbanek, Rosetta Operations Engineer explains the role of the replica: “While Rosetta is flying far away we have a fully functional model here at <span class="caps">ESOC</span> that we can use to test out various things that we want to do.”</p> <p>Armelle Hubault another engineer on the Rosetta project gives an insight into high-tech comet hunting: “We have a complete set of instruments on board Rosetta, which allow us to observe the comet from afar. We can monitor ultraviolet rays and infrared, etc.”</p> <p>The detritus the comet sheds is also of interest to scientists,<br /> Jake continues: “There will be things coming off the comet, but that’s also the point for some of the instruments, because a lot them analyse things as they impact the instrument.”</p> <p>The team is hoping for some exciting discoveries: “The science is already underway, in fact one of the instruments, <span class="caps">MIRO</span>, has recently detected water on the comet, so that’s a pretty big thing for us as well, so we’re getting there,” says Jake.</p> <p>He could not resist having a word with Rosette from terra firma:<br /> “Dear Rosetta, just a couple more maneuvers, you’re almost there. We can’t wait to see what you’re seeing.”</p>