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Timeline: Mars swingby at 36 000 km per hour

February 23, 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.
-end-
The complete timeline of major activities is available at: http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Rosetta/SEMR7IBE8YE_0.html

European Space Agency

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