Giotto Full Mission Timeline

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Spacecraft Event Time. UTC/GMT Times.



Time (UTC/GMT+0)Event
1985-07-02  11:23:16Launch on Ariane 1 rocket from Kourou into 199x36,000 parking orbit
1985-07-03  19:23:17Mage solid rocket booster ignites for 55secs, sending Giotto into a heliocentric orbit with a Halley miss distance of 120,000km.
1985-07-04  07:30Motor nozzle cover closed
1985-07-06  10:02Main antenna despin
1985-08-10Camera switched on. First instrument to be switched on
1985-08-26Trajectory correction manever: 7.4m/sec. Halley miss distance now less than 4,000km
1985-10-13All instruments operative
1985-10-18Giotto takes image of Earth from 20 million km away showing Australia and Antarctica
1986-02-12Trajectory correction maneuver: delta-v 0.566m/sec. Duration of burn: 7min 23sec. Miss distance now 850km +/- 70km.
1986-03-10Final 8 hour dress rehearsal
1986-03-11Mission managers decide on a closest approach distance of 500km +/- 40km
1986-03-12Trajectory correction maneuver: duration 32 minutes. Reducing miss distance to 605km +/- 8km
1986-03-12  21:00First detection hydrogen ions (7,800,000 km)
1986-03-12Some images received. Then bulldozer dug up landline at Parkes causing contact with spacecraft to be lost for some time.
1986-03-13  19:40Crossing of bowshock (1,064,000 km)
1986-03-13  19:43Camera switched on.
1986-03-13  20:15Start of formal 4-hour close encounter
1986-03-13  20:55First image returned
1986-03-13  22:01First dust impact of ~12 000?in total (290,000 km)
1986-03-13  23:58Giotto penetrates contact surface (20,100km)
1986-03-13  23:59:44First particle (of 11) to penetrate front shield and impact on back shield.
1986-03-14  00:02:35Dust impact on front shield peaks. Giotto possibly penetrating a jet of particles.
1986-03-14  00:02:44Last image (1,372km)
1986-03-14  00:02:48Spacecraft sent spinning by impact of large (1 gram) particle 8 seconds prior to closest approach, resulting in?loss of signal on?Earth. 600 to 700 grams of spacecraft structure torn away.
1986-03-14  00:02:55Loss of signal due to earlier dust impact
1986-03-14  00:03:02Closest approach to nucleus of Halley (605 km)
1986-03-14  00:35Spacecraft stabilised, continuous contact with Earth restored
1986-03-14  00:52:15Detection of last dust impact
1986-03-14  02:15End of formal 4-hour close encounter
1986-03-15  02:00Instruments turned off
1986-03-19Trajectory correction maneuver: delta-v 63.6m/sec, burn time 4hr 30min
1986-03-20Trajectory correction maneuver: delta-v 46.3m/sec, burn time 4hr 10min
1986-03-21Trajectory correction maneuver: delta-v 2.6m/sec, burn time 16min. Giotto on course for Earth flyby in 1990.
1986-04-02Spacecraft?enters hibernation
1990-02-24Spacecraft reactivated
1990-07-02Earth flyby; observations of Earths magnetic field and energetic particle environment (22,730 km)
1991-02-24Spacecraft?enters hibernation
1992-05-08Spacecraft reactivated
1992-07-10First sign of entering the dust coma (17,000 km)
1992-07-10Detection of first cometary ions (440,000 km)
1992-07-10  15:30Closest approach to Grigg-Skjellerup (100 km)
1992-07-23Mission End
1999-01-01  12:00Second Earth flyby (spacecraft switched off)