Guildford Astronomical Society

Dr Matt Taylor

Dr Matt TaylorDr Matt Taylor

Matt Taylor was born in London, gained his undergraduate Physics degree at the University of Liverpool, and a PhD from Imperial College London. His career has focused on the space plasma measurements, working in Europe and the US on the four spacecraft ESA Cluster mission, leading to a post at ESA which started in 2005 working as the project scientist for Cluster and the ESA-China Double star mission. His studies have focused on energetic particle dynamics in near-Earth space and in the interaction of the Sun’s solar wind with the Earths magnetic field, particularly focusing on how boundary layer interactions evolve, leading to 70 first or co-authored papers. Most recently he was appointed the Project Scientist on the Rosetta mission.

“Since early on in my career I have enjoyed working with groups or teams of scientists towards a common goal, encouraging them to work with one another and to support their activities. This really fits with my project science activities at ESA, which focus on getting the most science out of our missions, by supporting and liasing with the instrument scientists and their teams, along with the mission and science operations teams at ESA and other agencies such as NASA.”

“The opportunity to work on Rosetta was huge and I cannot begin to describe the excitement associated with this mission. It really is just so cool. Previous missions have only flown past comets. For the first time we will fly with the comet and actually land on it! The Rosetta mission is a breakthrough in space science and exploration and really demonstrates what international collaboration can achieve.”

DateTalk at GAS meeting
11 Feb 2016The Rosetta Mission - where are we and what have we done?

Please note that this meeting is on the second Thursday of the month and is being

held in The Griffiths Lecture Theatre (not the usual Lecture Theatre L).

The Rosetta Mission is the third cornerstone mission in the ESA programme Horizon 2000. The aim of the mission is to map the comet 67-P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by remote sensing, to examine its environment in situ and its evolution in the inner solar system. The lander Philae is the first device to land on a comet and perform in situ science on the surface. Nearly 10 years after launch in 2004, on 20th January 2014 at 10:00 UTC the spacecraft woke up from hibernation. Following successful instrument commissioning, Rosetta successfully rendezvoused with the comet. Following an intense period of mapping and characterisation, a landing site for Philae was selected and on 12th November 2014, Philae was successfully deployed. The spacecraft has subsequently escorting the target comet through perihelion and is current moving away from the Sun. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the mission up to date. It is given on behalf of ALL Rosetta mission science, instrument and operations teams.