Rosetta is an ESA (European Space Agency) spacecraft, launched towards
a comet in March 2, 2004. To be able to catch up with the comet,
Rosetta has to take a long route through the planetary system,
including three flybys of Earth and one of Mars, before arriving at
comet Churyomov-Gerasimenko in 2014. At the Swedish
Institute of Space Physics in Uppsala, we have built an instrument
called LAP (Langmuir probe)
to study the ionized gas (plasma) close to the comet. However, this
instrument and its companion instruments in the Rosetta Plasma
Consortium, RPC, can be used also for exploring space around Mars and
Earth during the flybys. The Mars flyby on 25 February 2007 is highly
interesting, as very
few spacecraft with reasonable plasma instrumentation have ever visited
Mars. As an example, none of the spacecraft now at Mars have anything
to match the RPC instrumentation.
In order to get the most out of the Mars flyby, careful
planning is needed, including modelling of the environment. This was
topic of the present work.
Study existing data and models for the Mars environment. Combine with
existing orbital information to model what LAP and the other plasma
instruments may expect to measure during the Mars flyby.
The project ran
September 2005 -- January 2006. Project plan
last modified onFriday, 10-Mar-2006 01:13:10 CET