Rosetta was launched in 2004 and has since travelled around the Sun five times, picking up energy from Earth and Mars to line it up with its final destination: comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. For the coldest, loneliest leg of the mission, as Rosetta travelled out towards the orbit of Jupiter, the spacecraft was put into deep-space hibernation.
In 2014, Rosetta will complete its cruise towards the comet, rendezvousing with it in August, before putting its Philae lander onto the comet’s surface in November, as it begins its journey closer to the Sun.
The time for Rosetta to wake up and prepare for this most exciting scientific adventure is now fast approaching. The spacecraft’s internal alarm clock is set for 10:00 GMT (11:00 CET) on 20 January. Once it has warmed itself up, it should re-establish communication with Earth several hours later.
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