Latest Šteins Stories

2011-06-08 14:32:45

The final command placing ESA's Rosetta comet-chaser into deep-space hibernation was sent earlier today. With virtually all systems shut down, the probe will now coast for 31 months until waking up in 2014 for arrival at its comet destination. Today's dramatic event marks the end of the hugely successful first phase of Rosetta's ten-year cruise and the start of a long, dark hibernation during which all instruments and almost all control systems will be silent. The deep sleep is made necessary...

2010-07-10 06:55:00

On its way to a 2014 rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, with NASA instruments aboard, will fly past asteroid Lutetia today (July 10). The instruments aboard Rosetta will record the first close-up image of a metal asteroid. They will also make measurements to help scientists derive the mass of the object, understand the properties of the asteroid's surface crust, record the solar wind in the vicinity and look for evidence of an...

2010-06-30 08:11:35

The media are invited to ESA's Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany to follow Rosetta's encounter with asteroid Lutetia on July 10, 18:00"“23:00. The first images of the asteroid will be released before midnight, with experts available for interview. ESA's Rosetta comet-chaser is en route to its main target, comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko, arriving in 2014. On Saturday, July 10 it will fly past the previously unvisited asteroid Lutetia. This is an important milestone in...

2010-06-15 10:20:00

ESA's comet-chaser Rosetta is heading for a blind date with asteroid Lutetia. Rosetta does not yet know what Lutetia looks like but beautiful or otherwise the two will meet on July 10th. Like many first dates, Rosetta will meet Lutetia on a Saturday night, flying to within 3200 km of the space rock. Rosetta started taking navigational sightings of Lutetia at the end of May so that ground controllers can determine any course corrections required to achieve their intended flyby distance. The...

2010-01-12 11:00:00

Close-up images of asteroid (2867) Steins, obtained with the OSIRIS cameras on Rosetta, have provided extensive new measurements of the physical properties of this main-belt asteroid. Steins is revealed to be a loosely-bound 'rubble pile' whose diamond shape has been honed by the YORP effect. This is the first time this effect has been seen in a main-belt asteroid. The results are reported by H. Uwe Keller and colleagues in the January 8 issue of Science magazine. Most models of Solar System...

2009-11-04 09:40:00

ESA's comet chaser Rosetta will swing by Earth for the last time on November 13 to pick up energy and begin the final leg of its 10-year journey to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. ESA's European Space Operations Centre will host a media briefing on that day. This will be the third Earth swingby, the last of Rosetta's four planetary gravity assists. Closest approach to Earth is expected at 08:45 CET (07:45 UT). The swingby will provide exactly the boost Rosetta needs to continue into the...

2008-09-06 14:00:00

ESA's comet chaser, Rosetta, last night flew by a small body in the main asteroid belt, asteroid Steins, collecting a wealth of information about this rare type of minor Solar System body. At 20:58 CEST (18:58 UT) last night, ESA's Rosetta probe approached asteroid 2867 Steins, coming to within a distance of only 800 km from it. Steins is Rosetta's first nominal scientific target in its 11½ year mission to ultimately explore the nucleus of Comet...

2008-09-05 16:59:58

A European spacecraft zoomed by a rocky asteroid Friday in the first of two pit stops on the way to a distant comet. The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta comet probe zipped by the asteroid Steins, a space rock in the asteroid belt between the planets Mars and Jupiter, as it streaked across the solar system millions of miles from Earth. Rosetta made its closest pass by Steins, officially known as Asteroid 2867, at 2:58 p.m. EDT (1858 GMT), and swung within 500 miles (800 km)...

2008-09-05 14:53:39

The European Space Agency announced on Friday that the Rosetta space probe is set to pass within 802 km of asteroid Steins at 1958 GMT for an opportunity to capture glimpses of a rare E-type asteroid. "It's rare that we get to wave our own flag - spacecraft engineers are by nature extremely cautious folk," said ESA spokesman Daniel Scuka. "But on behalf of the entire Rosetta team, I really have to say it out loud: this is a fabulous result!" Scientists hope to gain a better understanding of...

2008-09-02 10:10:00

The Rosetta spacecraft control room is buzzing with anticipation as Rosetta closes in on asteroid 2867 Steins. The fly-by timeline includes a series of critical events, culminating with closest approach - expected at 20:58 CEST, 5 September 2008. At the time of closest approach, Rosetta is planned to be 800 km from the asteroid, passing by at a speed of 8.6 km/s relative to Steins. Both Rosetta and Steins will be illuminated by the Sun, providing an excellent opportunity for science...

Word of the Day
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'