ESA (the European Space Agency, ESA) said on Friday about the successful flight around the probe Rosetta asteroid Steins, at a distance of more than 400 million kilometers from Earth.
During the mission, which can draw people closer to solving the mysteries of birth of the solar system, the spacecraft completed circled the asteroid Steins, also known as Asteroid 2867 in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
Images and other data collected probe, being only 800 kilometers from the 4-km-long asteroid, and immediately began to transmit them to Earth. According to the ESA, the first data were obtained on Saturday.
Perfect timing flyby helped make clear pictures, as asteroid was illuminated by the sun. Here’s a short video clip created from images obtained during the Rosetta flyby of asteroid Steins (~ 3 mb).
Steins is the first scientific mission to probe Rosetta on the way to the main goal - the comet 67 / P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. To probe the comet approaches the year 2014. The very same mission continues for four years, since March 2004.
The European Space Agency is supported by 17 countries, including Germany, France, Ireland and the Netherlands. It collaborates with NASA, the European Union, European national space agencies and international partners. Receive a daily hot news - download news ticker, be aware of world events.
Original: The Planetary Society Blog