Timeline: Mars swingby at 36 000 km per hour

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.

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