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G.H. Schwehm, D. Koschny, N. Biver (Research and Science Support Dept., ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands)
ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has completed its environmental test programme and is being prepared for launch at the Guyana Launch Complex. The launch window will open on 13 January 2003.
The close Mars swingby at the end of August 2005 will provide the first opportunity to return exciting science for the Rosetta payload. The spacecraft will pass Mars at 200 km distance.
After the first Earth gravity assist in November 2005 Rosetta will fly past asteroid Otawara in July 2006, come back to Earth again in November 2007 to get onto its final trajectory to comet 46P/Wirtanen. Before reaching the comet it will flyby asteroid Siwa at a distance of about 2500 km.
We will discribe the flyby scenarios, the science opportunities and provide a short summary of the capabilities of the Experiment Planning System that has been developed to optimise the science operations of the Rosetta mission .
If the author provided an email address or URL for general inquiries,
it is as follows:
Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.