It was really great to watch Rosetta deploy Philae live yesterday. I watched the live feed amongst friends, next door to the building in which the Rosetta spacecraft platform was assembled and tested. That was very cool, and I am very lucky.
Airbus Defence and Space Germany was prime contractor for the Rosetta mission, responsible for building the actual spacecraft. Airbus Defence and Space UK built the spacecraft platform and Airbus Defence and Space France supplied the spacecraft avionics.
The platform is the structure of the spacecraft, to which all other parts are fixed. There is a common platform design which helps us deliver cheaper spacecraft, and also much quicker than if we designed a new one each time.
The Rosetta spacecraft is similar to other Airbus Defence and Space probes like Venus Express and Mars Express as you can see below.
The platform is modified with instruments, engines, communications equipment and solar arrays as required for the specific mission.
Rosetta was also equipped with its lander Philae!
Rosetta Venus Express Mars Express
And don’t forget, the Rosseta mission was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket on 2 March 2004..!
There are lots of interesting Rosetta outreach resources on this page, like posters, videos, a paper model and much more!