Space probe set for new encounter with comet
Sunday 05 July 1992
British Aerospace, which designed and built the pounds 40m spacecraft, said today that everything was 'looking good' for the fly- past on Friday of the Grigg- Skjellerup comet 133 million miles from Earth.
The meeting marks a 4-billion- mile space journey since Giotto was launched seven years ago as the first inter-planetary probe for the European Space Agency. It made history on its first mission to intercept and photograph Halley's Comet in March 1986.
Scientists were delighted that it survived its near-collision course, although the craft was severely damaged by comet debris which knocked out three on- board experiments. A hi-tech camera was one of the casualties.
Giotto was put into 'hibernation' orbit while scientists planned its second mission and checked the seven remaining experiments designed to evaluate comets. Grigg-Skjellerup is a 'Jupiter class' comet with a five-year orbit, in contrast to the 76-year appearance of Halley's Comet.
Giotto was said today to be travelling at 50,000 kilometres an hour. When its instruments measure the comet's magnetic field they will send back information at 46,000 bits a second. BAe project director David Link, who led the 10-nation team that designed and built Giotto, said: 'We are witnessing one of the great achievements in space exploration.'
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...