Project Description

Rosetta mission: Landing Philae on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko


CNES, the french space agency used Scilab during the rosetta mission to land Philae on the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.


The Science Operation and Navigation Center (SONC) at CNES in Toulouse, was in charge of  the overall Rosetta Lander Navigation and science co-ordination.

The mission was composed of two phases:

  • Landing Site Selection Process
  • First Science Sequence

The Flight dynamics team, was working 24/7 during the last phase of the Rosetta mission. Every 48 hours, they had to recalculate the trajectories to feed it to the control unit.


These are the main functionnalities of the application Tracelab based on Scilab:

  • Reading/writing inputs/outputs data of Flight Dynamics System (proprietary)
  • Mission frames transformation
  • Comets environments
  • Comets topography and
    Digital Terrain Model
  • Statistic and probability analysis
  • Geometry computations