Special Issue : 15/03/2004
A scientific publication by SGF and NEODyS

Rosetta's launch

A photoreportage of Rosetta's launch

An image of Kourou at the arrival of VIRTIS : the launch is scheduled for this night !
Kourou : everything is ready
Organizing the launch at Kourou: in the Jupiter room, everyone will have his place...
26-02-2004 2:30 AM
The science teams are going to the Jupiter room to watch the launch.

26-02-2004 4:35 AM
The Jupiter room : all ready to launch...
26-02-2004 4:35 AM
... but a few minutes later, a red light goes on. Too much wind to launch, see you tomorrow.
A second delay of the launch is announced for a minor technical problem: a piece of insulating foam became detached from the rocket's main stage

After having fixed the problem, the Ariane 5 is borught back ont the platform
In the control room the technical team is ready...

At 8:17 Rosetta's mission begins The main engines are fired... ...and the Ariane 5 lifts off.

the Ariane 5 reached an altitude of 173,4 Km before turning its engine off. Then, the launcher successfully placed its upper stage and payload into an eccentric coast orbit (200 x 4000 km). At 10:14 CET after a tour and a half of the Earth, the upper stage ignited its own engine to reach an escape velocity in order to leave the Earth's gravity field. The Rosetta probe was released 18 minutes later.
Sothwood, ESA Director of Science, felicitates Arianespace. 02-03-2004
VIRTIS team, back in Italy, is watching the launch from the Area di Ricerca di Tor Vergata in Rome.