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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Robotic probe to awaken for comet rendezvous, landing

• Reuters

Rosetta's on-board alarm clock is due to go off at 5 a.m. EST (1000 GMT), but it will take the spacecraft about seven hours to warm up its star tracking navigation gear, fire up rocket thrusters to slow its spin, turn on its transmitter and beam a message back to Earth, the European Space Agency said in a status report posted on its website.


The probe, presently located about 500 million miles (about 800 million km) from Earth and just shy of Jupiter's orbit, is so far away that its radio transmissions, traveling at the speed of light, will take 45 minutes to reach listening stations in California and Australia.

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