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Living with a comet: a MIDAS team perspective

23 Sep 2016, 16:33 UTC
Living with a comet: a MIDAS team perspective G. Kargl.
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

This is the first of a series of blog posts that delve behind the scenes of Rosetta's instrument teams to find out what it was really like "living with a comet" for two years, with some impressive statistics collected along the way.
Tasked with collecting and scanning – in 3D – the comet’s smallest dust grains, Rosetta’s Micro-Imaging Dust Analysis System (MIDAS) also has one of the smallest teams: “1.2 people in the beginning”, says principal investigator Mark Bentley. But as ever with Rosetta, the numbers are big: after two years of science, Mark and his PhD student Thurid Mannel report on the highs and lows of the 52 million up-down motions of the MIDAS scanning tip.
Team MIDAS: Thurid Mannel (PhD student), Mark Bentley (PI), Harald Jeszenszky (technical manager), and Roland Schmied (postdoc) with the MIDAS Qualification Model (QM). Image courtesy G. Kargl.
Mark reflects on the post-hibernation period, the overall performance of the instrument, and lessons learned for a future MIDAS:
The early days of the mission, when we were first starting operations after hibernation exit in January 2014 were pretty crazy – mainly because we were a rather small team, approximately 1.2 people comprised of me ...

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