Philae module has finally sent the first image taken of the surface of the comet.

This is actually an assembly of two images taken by two cameras of CIVA instrument.
Bottom left, we recognize one of the legs of the probe, measuring about 15cm wide giving the scale of what we observe.
Bottom center, there is a metal rod that belongs to another scientific instrument.
The first view shows a complex soil prelude to the exciting investigations.

Released 10/09/2014 5:00 pm Copyright ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA ESA Link

Released 10/09/2014 5:00 pm
credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA
ESA Link

First image of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the CIVA camera of Rosetta’s Philae lander

Jean-Luc Josset, Former Project Manager at CSEM of the Rosetta Philae CIVA cameras development (funded by CNES) delivered to Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS France) PI J.-P. Bibring

Jean-Luc Josset takes this opportunity to thank and congratulate all the collaborators working for this project at that time at Centre Suisse d’Electronique et Microtechnique (CSEM) (some are still at CSEM) and our key partners at that time such as:

Fisba Optik SA, Petitpierre SA, Thomson in France (DOI -> Today 3D-Plus and Thomson Grenoble -> Today e2v); …

Rosetta/Philae/CIVA micro-cameras development history


Name Rosetta
Goal Study of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Mission description « ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft will be the first to undertake the long-term exploration of a comet at close quarters. It comprises a large orbiter, which is designed to operate for a decade at large distances from the Sun, and a small lander. Each of these carries a large complement of scientific experiments designed to complete the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted. » credits to ESA
Launch 2 mars 2004
Landing Nov 2014
End of mission Dec 2015
CSEM was mandated by the Institut Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS, F) and CNES.The team led by J.-L. Josset as project manager at CSEM was responsible of the development, manufacturing and tests of 7 cameras for CIVA instrument (PI J-P Bibring) on the Rosetta Philae Lander.

Brief history of the development

First Step – 1992-1997 – Development of ESA TRP Micro Camera

– The development of this project was possible with the support of the Technology Research Programme (TRP) of the European Space Agency (ESA) (P. Plancke Technical Officer and F. Mazzaglia Contract Officer).

– These TRP projects allowed CSEM (Project Manager Jean-Luc Josset) to develop, thanks to its key high level research engineers and its key partners, one of the world smallest digital camera in the 1995 years. See picture below

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1992-1994  New Technologies for Space Planetary Missions.

CSEM mandated by ESA (TRP)

Assessment of the potential technologies at electronics, components and assembly level for compact, low mass and low power systems for low temperature operation

 1995-1997 Development of a Modular Micro-Imager for Planetary Exploration. CSEM mandated by ESA TRP micro-nano technologies

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Second Step – 1998-2001 – Development of the CIVA’s Micro Camera

ESA Rosetta mission approved.

CIVA Science Instrument proposal by IAS France, PI J.-P. Bibring, selected.

1998 CSEM mandated by IAS in France funded by CNES for the development.

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The same partners (see above) and almost same team organization of the prototype camera developed in the first phase for ESA TRP worked on the project.

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Rosetta CIVA microcamera breadboard development, not so simple…

Mechanical Test vibration at CSEM

Sept. 1999

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Part of the CSEM’s Team for the cameras development

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The delivery of the cameras was performed with success during the year 2001.

Note the great support and expertise given by CNES and IAS for the accomplishment of the project.

Find hereafter pictures of the Rosetta/Philae/CIVA micro-cameras.

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Flight Models CIVA Cameras, Credits CIVA/IAS courtesy of J.-P. Bibring

It was a very long-term project that involved many people !

Looking forward for a success landing on the comet and go-on to see the next step: a panorama view taken ON the comet 67P !

Good luck to ESA and CIVA instrument operation team.