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Emily LakdawallaNovember 8, 2007

Rosetta Earth flyby observations have begun

Rosetta is now homing in on its November 13 Earth flyby. It's gone to Mars and back on its way to a comet. ESA posted a timeline of the key events on the encounter today, including the pleasant detail that at 08:00 UTC on November 14, if everything goes well, they should have new images on their website! Cool. I'll be watching.

Here are the other events on the timeline (all times are Earth Received Time, which, for an Earth flyby, isn't far off of Spacecraft Event Time). If you want a place to find out what's happening with the mission as the flyby progresses, check out ESA's Rosetta Blog, which is providing updates direct from the control room at the European Space Operations Centre.

Time (UTC)Event
November 7
00:00Science observations begin with measurements of Earth's magnetosphere
to be continued until November 20)
November 13
00:00Turn spacecraft toward Earth
Rosetta will approach Earth from its night side.)
20:57Closest approach to Earth
21:02Turn spacecraft toward the Moon
22:00Begin Moon imaging and science observations
to be continued until November 20)
November 14
00:45Begin data downli
There will be one downlink slot every day until November 22)
08:00Images on ESA website
10:02End of Moon pointing slot
Fields and particles observations can continue even when the spacecraft is not pointed at Earth or the Moon.)
November 15
 Images of Earth-Moon system from distance

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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