Telespazio VEGA inherited involvement in the Rosetta mission from VEGA group after the companies merged in 2009. VEGA had been involved in the mission since 1996 and played an active role in almost all aspects of the mission.
The original contract was awarded to develop a simulator for the mission. This accurately models all of the mission systems and subsystems and has been used extensively to train the mission operations team, as well as allowing the mission team to identify and fix problems in the spacecraft’s onboard software. This support is ongoing from Selex ES, who provide engineering support at the mission operations centre and the science operations centre. Engineers from Telespazio VEGA have also been involved in ground testing and flight operations plans.
VEGA also contributed significantly towards the hardware aboard the mission, providing the autonomous star tracker, which allows the spacecraft to accurately determine its position. It has provided a navigation camera and the photovoltaic cells used on both the orbiter and the lander to power the systems. In addition to this, the company contributed towards the construction of some of the instrument modules aboard the lander and orbiter; including the SD2 sample delivery system, the VIRTIS infrared spectrometer and the GIADA grain and dust analyser.