Tag Archives: reaction wheels

ESA controllers buy time to solve problems on comet probe Rosetta

This ain’t good. One of the reasons ESA controllers recently put the comet probe Rosetta into hibernation for two and a half years was in order to buy time to solve a serious technical problem.

Mission managers said the hibernation will permit Rosetta to rest its four reaction wheels, two of which have shown signs of degradation. The satellite needs three to function, and one of the two problem wheels will be used only as a spare when the satellite is awakened in January 2014 in preparation for its approach to a comet.