Imperial College
The Imperial College Rosetta Project Homepage

The Rosetta Mission is currently being prepared for launch in 2003 by the European Space Agency (ESA). The spacecraft is destined to rendezvous with Comet Wirtanen in 2011. As the comet nears the Sun in 2013, Rosetta will watch dust and vapour blowing from the small nucleus, to form the large head and tail of the comet.

The role of Imperial College is to provide the Plasma Interface Unit (PIU) as part of the Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC).

rosetta spacecraft

Comets are believed to be the most primitive objects in the Solar System, and are particularly interesting to scientists because they hold many clues about our Sun and its planets.

Rosetta will study the cometary nucleus environment and its evolution in the inner solar system. The spacecraft will land a small probe (the Rosetta Lander) on the comet's surface. The data expected from Rosetta will provide a vital insight into the origins of the Solar System itself.

This page was last updated September 2002.