esa-awakesFancy a date in outer space? Granted, a meeting between two inanimate objects would not be considered to be a ‘date’ per se, but rather, a meeting. However, what we are going to talk about is no ordinary meeting, as this is the one which might just see humankind learn more about the vast universe that we live in. An unmanned European spacecraft is tipped to be activated on Monday from being dormant, where it will begin to work on making a rendezvous with a comet happen.

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft has been hanging around in space “snoozing” for over two years, and it is programmed to “awake” from hibernation at 5 a.m. ET Monday, where it will then work on meeting up with its target later this coming August. In total, the Rosetta spacecraft would require approximately seven hours to warm up, get its navigation gear in full working condition and to fire its rocket thrusters so that it can be well positioned to get up and about its task. Located around 500 million miles from Earth, near Jupiter’s orbit, each radio transmission will take around 45 minutes at the speed of light to reach listening stations in Australia and the US.

To infinity and beyond!

Filed in Gadgets. Read more about Science.

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