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Timeline: Mars swingby at 36 000 km per hour

26.02.2007
The timeline for Rosetta's speedy swingby of Mars on 25 February includes a series of slew manoeuvres, an occultation and signal blackout, an eclipse and some excellent opportunities for scientific observations.

Rosetta's Mars swingby kicks off today with a series of complex slew manoeuvres to enable instrument calibration.

The spacecraft has been correctly lined up on the proper trajectory since a series of engine firings in the past several weeks.

Rosetta is expected to pass the Red Planet at 250 km altitude and 36 191 km/hour with respect to Mars at closest approach.

The swingby should reduce Rosetta's velocity with respect to the Sun by 7887 km/hour, and the spacecraft should depart Mars travelling at 78 779 km/hour relative to the Sun.

Bernhard Von Weyhe | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Rosetta/SEMR7IBE8YE_0.html

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