Dr Sean Tuttle awarded prestigious Sir Arthur Clarke Award by British Interplanetary Society
Rosetta is the now well-known comet intercept mission which which caught the public’s imagination in November 2014 when the mothership, Rosetta, successfully deployed a lander onto the surface of a comet, a first in human history.
Dr Tuttle at UNSW Canberra led the thermal design of the Rosetta spacecraft. Dr Tuttle has worked on 25 different space missions, but his 6 years on the Rosetta programme were a definite highlight. The mission brought with it a wealth of technical and organisational challenges, with thermal issues dominating these. This was partly due to the mission’s decision to use solar power at the very great distance from the sun to which it would have to travel, while the unknowns of what exactly the spacecraft would encounter when it got to the comet made the designer’s job stimulating, to say the least.
Dr Tuttle was recently surprised to discover that he, along with the rest of the Rosetta design team, had been awarded the 2014 Sir Arthur Clarke Award by the British Interplanetary Society.
“Rosetta was, and is, a very unique and historical mission, opening new vistas of human knowledge and it was due in no small part to the amazing team spirit displayed by so many people across Europe that the mission has been the success it has. I feel honoured to have been able to play an important role in it.”