Rosetta's Arrival at the Comet

A Wonderful Day at ESOC in Darmstadt

Being a mathematician in hard life, I followed progress of the Rosetta mission silently over all the years. Yesterday, I made the a trip to Darmstadt to be live at the official announcement of Rosetta's arrival at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It became a long day with lots of wonderful impressions. Here is a small collection of photos.

I had to take the train at 5:06 h (a.m. !) in my home town. It was still dark on the platform of the empty station.

In Darmstadt, my train arrived some minutes late. So, when entering the presentation hall at 10:04, I just saw Thomas Reiter jumping off the stage. There were many short speeches by officials. In between, pictures and movie elements about the mission were projected.

Also Brigitte Zypries (on the right hand side in the screen), secretary of state in the German ministry for economy and energy, was there. By the way, she is representing Darmstadt region in Germany's parliament (Bundestag).

My neighbour journalist had not only a laptop with her, but also a golden handbag.

Other reporters were directly transmitting their fresh essays.

An early highlight. A model of the comet in 3d was shown.

Here you see an old - very unrealistic, as we know by now - model of the comet, together with lander Philae and the "better" new model. However ...

One more picture of the smooth duck.

... The true duck. For me it looks a little bit like an ant or a tick under the scanning electron microscope.

The neck of the duck is outgasing, as seen in this overexposed photo. Bad news for my bet with Simon...

A Chinese TV team came late, but loud.

2:40 pm. The presentation is (almost) over. 82 scientists (with 100+ opinions and ideas) can go back to their good work.

Outdoor, TV teams had placed their transmission vans.

The ESA guys are not only strong in parking a probe near a comet. They also can park their cars in smart ways. Photo taken 30 meters next to the entry of ESOC. I did not anonymize the numberplate because it is even harder to read than most captchas on the ESA-Rosetta blog ;-)

A close-up look into the car. "They" have a toy model of the comet on the dashboard. "DLRG" at the duck stands for "Deutsche Luft- und Raumfahrt-Gesellschaft".

The trip back to home was a long one again: Arrival in bed around 23:20 h. So, total length of my tour more than eighteen and a half hours. However, that is nothing in comparison with Rosetta's 10+x years.

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