Rosetta blog: How we listened from Philae

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Saturday, 13 Jun 2015

22:28 CEST on house Rosetta: The orbiter’s Electrical Support System Processor Unit (ESS) starts receiving radio signals from Philae, approximately 200km underneath Rosetta on a aspect of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

22:28 CEST on house Rosetta: Spacecraft immediately starts relaying Philae information to Earth around NASA’s 70m deep-space receiver during Goldstone, California. One-way light time is 16.8 minutes, so signals start nearing during about 22:45 CEST on Earth and are immediately relayed to ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany.

Transmitting to a experts behind home Credit: ESA

Transmitting to a experts behind home Credit: ESA

Just after 22:45 CEST in Planetary Missions Dedicated Control Room, ESOC: The on-duty booster controller examination telemetry downloading from Rosetta notices some alarms that had been specifically set on some Lander ESS parameters. These had been implemented shortly after subdivision (in Nov 2014) to safeguard any Lander hit would not be missed. After confirming this was, indeed, correct, and that lander telemetry were being received, he consults an ‘Action Sheet’ kept on palm given 15 Nov 2014 (when Philae entered hibernation on a comet) to establish what to do.

23:00 CEST ESOC: As tangible on a ‘Action Sheet’, a on-duty booster controller telephones a Rosetta on-call booster operations engineer, Jake Urbanek, during his home nearby Darmstadt. He reports a news.

23:30 CEST during Jake’s home: Jake calls Rosetta Spacecraft Operations Engineer Armelle Hubault during her home to endorse that a Lander had switched on and transmitted telemetry.

23:45 CEST during Armelle’s home: Armelle confirms a news by job a Lander Team on a pre-agreed phone number. Lander group confirms Lander is back! Armelle also rings Sylvain Lodiot, a Rosetta Spacecraft Operations Manager, who afterwards rings Paolo Ferri, ESA’s Head of Mission Operations. Paolo subsequently relays a information to a rest of a Rosetta scholarship and operations managers.

Armelle reports: “I had only brushed my teeth and was streamer to bed when a phone rang. Seeing Jake was calling, we picked adult a phone and said: ‘This has to be bad news. We’ve got a protected mode, don’t we?’ “

“He replied: ‘Well, maybe not. Maybe it’s good news!’ And, yes, it was.”

Editor’s note: After this weekend’s news, a Rosetta Flight Control Team currently have switched into high gear, with a good understanding of coordination work now being carried out with a moody dynamics experts during ESOC as good as with a Rosetta Science Ground Segment (RSGS/ESAC), a Philae Lander Control Centre group (DLR Cologne) and a lander scholarship operations centre (SONC), during CNES/Toulouse.

Source: Rosetta blog