Airbus Defence and Space

Approx. 807,000,000 km, Rousing Rosetta

At 10.00 GMT on 20 January 2014, out in deep space near Jupiter, an alarm will go off. This will be the signal to rouse the Airbus Defence and Space-built comet-chasing spacecraft Rosetta from the deep sleep it has been in for the previous 31 months.

Rosetta was launched in March 2004 on a mission to rendez-vous with Comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko, a ball of ice and dust that – scientists believe – preserves material from the formation of the solar system.

Around 800 million kilometres away from Earth when she will wake up, Rosetta is still about 9 million km from her destination comet, which she is scheduled to reach in summer 2014.

RosettaComet