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M. Fulchignoni (Paris 7 Univ.), M.A. Barucci, A. Doressoundiram, E. Dotto (DESPA, Paris Obs.)
Our aim is to obtain as much information as possible on the whole set of candidate Rosetta mission asteroid targets in order to : i) give reference data when the final choice will be done and ii) to obtain the model of these objects to optimize the sequence of operations during the fly-by. We carried out several observation campaigns and we obtained the spectra of the possible targets of the Rosetta mission which allowed us to determine their compositional type. 3840 Mimistrobell and 2703 Rodari, the targets indicated in the ESA AO, were both S-type asteroids, as 951 Gaspra, 243 Ida and Dactyl (explored by Galileo) and 433 Eros which will be explored by NEAR starting at the beginning of the next year. On the basis of our observations, ESOC revised the Rosetta cruise trajectory finding plenty more interesting new possible asteroid targets. Early this year, the Rosetta Project, together to the Rosetta Science Working Team, decided to choose 4979 Otawara and 140 Siwa as new baseline for the Rosetta asteroid science. 140 Siwa seems particularly interesting, because it belongs to a C/P primitive compositional type and has a large (> 100 km) diameter . It could retain some of the primordial imprints relatively unmodified.