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ESA Science News
http://sci.esa.int
11 Mar 1999

Rosetta Lander unveiled

A full size model of the Rosetta lander was presented to the public for the first time today. The unveiling ceremony took place at the Institute for Space Simulation in Cologne-Porz, a facility operated by the German Aerospace Research Centre (Deutschen Zentrums f=FCr Luft- und Raumfahrt or DLR).

Dignitaries present at the press conference included the German Parliamentary State Secretary, Wolf-Michael Catenhusen, and DLR Chairman, Professor Walter Kr=F6ll.

Also available to answer questions from the press were ESA Project Scientist Gerhard Schwehm, DLR lander project manager Stephan Ulamec, and lander lead scientist Helmut Rosenbauer from the Max-Planck-Institut f=FCr Aeronomie.

"The Rosetta lander will play a key role in our investigation of Comet Wirtanen," said Dr. Schwehm. "It will provide ground truth about the nucleus which will complement the orbiter's measurements of the comet's composition, surface and subsurface conditions."

The box-shaped Rosetta lander measures approximately 1 metre across and 80 cm in height. The flight version will be attached to the side of the Rosetta orbiter during the journey to Comet Wirtanen, then soft land on the surface of the icy nucleus. Data from the lander will be relayed back to Earth via the orbiter.

The structural and thermal model of the lander presented at the meeting will be used for vibration and thermal tests. These are needed to ensure that the probe will survive the hazards of shaking during launch and extreme temperature variations during its 9-year-long voyage to the comet.

USEFUL LINKS FOR THIS STORY

More about Rosetta
http://sci.esa.int/rosetta

DLR website
http://www.dlr.de/

Rosetta lander website
http://roland.mpae.gwdg.de/

Rosetta lander instruments
http://sci.esa.int/missions/indexf.cfm?typeID=3D11&page=3Dmain&targetpage= =3Dwww.estec.esa.nl/spdwww/rosetta/html/science.html

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