Can you pilot Rosetta?
After 10 years of travel, the Rosetta probe approaches the comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Before launching the Philae lander, the probe must place itself in orbit around the comet. This cosmic meeting takes place at high speed since the comet is moving more than 15 km/s.
To enter into orbit around the comet, Rosetta must brake and adjust her speed to get captured by the very weak gravitational field of the comet.
The orbital speed of Rosetta around 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko is very slow: barely a few centimeters per second when compared to the comet. If Rosetta goes to fast, she will escape the gravity of 67P. If Rosetta goes too slowly, she will crash on the comet.
Can you place Rosetta on a circular orbit of 20 km or 10 km around 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko?
To do so, you must adjust the speed of the probe using its two boosters. The first (+ button) accelerates the probe by ejecting a mass backwards. The second (- button) decelerates the probe by ejecting a mass forwards. The orbital speed should be 0.18 m/s for a 20 km orbit or 0.24 m/s for a 10 km orbit.
Visit the Rosetta Projet page.
Click on 'Plus' or 'Minus' to accelerate or decelerate the Rosetta probe. Each click is a short acceleration burn (+) or braking burn (-).
Click on 'Rewind' to play again.
The Rosetta mission is the inspiration of many educational projets. Here are a few that you may download here.