NASA has begun to study the science data taken by its three instruments on board the European Space Agency‘s Rosetta spacecraft.
The Rosetta spacecraft is set to orbit the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet in August and land a probe on the comet’s nucleus in November, NASA said Tuesday.
“We are happy to be seeing some real zeroes and ones coming down from our instruments, and cannot wait to figure out what they are telling us,” said Claudia Alexander, Rosetta’s U.S. project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Rosetta’s lander is built to collect images of the comet’s surface and drill into the celestial object to obtain data for composition analysis.
NASA’s Microwave Instrument for Rosetta Orbiter instrument worked to gather data on how a coma and a comet’s tail are formed.
The agency will analyze the gases in the comet’s coma using data obtained by an ultraviolet spectrometer called Alice, while the ion and electron sensor provided data to examine the plasma environment of the comet.