Rosetta’s ‘Alice’ instrument – which is the only Rosetta instrument that isn’t an acronym, it is simply a name that the instrument’s principal investigator, Alan Stern, likes – was the first in a line of ultraviolet spectrographs that have also flown on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance orbiter, New Horizons and JUNO. It has also been with some Alice team members for their entire lives. With inputs from Alan Stern, Joel Parker, Mike A’Hearn, and John Noonan.
John Noonan is the youngest Alice team member – he was just 10 when Rosetta launched. “Rosetta really got started in the same year I was born, and being able to work on a mission that is the same age as me has been incredibly humbling,” he says. “Working on Rosetta while attending college showed me exactly what I would be getting myself into by continuing to study astrophysics, and has been a driving force in getting me to where I am today.”
Joel Parker, Alice’s deputy principal investigator (PI), adds: “My son was born when I started working on Rosetta and now he is a Junior in college; he grew up with Rosetta all his life.”
To illustrate just how long Rosetta’s mission has ...