Did you know that the Rosetta spacecraft used Airbus Crisa electronics to guide itself on its ten-year journey to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko?

Rosetta was the first mission to orbit a comet nucleus and land a probe on its surface. It is the first spacecraft to have flown alongside an icy comet as it headed into the Solar System, observing how it is transformed by the heat of the Sun. 

For this mission, Airbus Crisa supplied the computers and electronic units for the Star Tracker Electronic Unit (STR EU) and the Navigation Camera Electronic Unit (NAVCAM EU). 

This equipment manages the image processing and compression of the satellite's onboard star tracker, and monitors and controls the guidance cameras. 

Rosetta used this equipment for guidance during its journey through our solar system and in its approach maneuvers to the comet. 

The STR electronics contains a powerful Digital Signal Processor (DSP), which controls and processes the data from Rosetta's Star Tracker. The NAVCAM electronics acquire, polarize and process the data from the optical navigation camera on the outside of the probe. 

The star navigator electronics unit has also flown with great success on the Mars Express and Venus Express missions.

Image Credits: ESA/ATG medialab; Comet image: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam