Geneva, Switzerland, Dec. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, is celebrating the technical prowess achieved by the space satellite Rosetta and its probe Philae. Rosetta and Philae contain over 10,000 radiation-hardened, high-reliability ICs designed and manufactured by ST.
After a 6 billion km journey that started more than 10 years ago, the space satellite Rosetta finally reached Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko and has successfully placed a probe called Philae on the comet to obtain images from its surface and analyze its content. This is the first operation of its kind in the history of space exploration and the valuable information Philae has relayed back to Earth is set to enable dramatic steps forward in understanding how the universe was formed.
Rosetta and Philae's excellent adventure started in March 2004 when Ariane 5 lifted off carrying Rosetta, the first space vehicle designed to fly alongside a comet on its journey into the heart of the Solar System. Rosetta launched Philae to the surface of the comet on November 12 after being awakened in January from 31 months in sleep mode. During the next phase of the mission, Rosetta will accompany the comet through its closest approach to the Sun in August 2015.
In participating in the Rosetta/Philae project, ST delivered to the Central Parts Procurement Agency four device types including more than 4000 radiation-hardened logic ICs and more than 6500 rad-hard transistors. All devices were qualified by the European Space Agency (ESA) to the European quality system.
"With a track record of providing hi-rel components to key space exploration programs since 1977, ST's products continue to prove their durability and reliability over hundreds of millions of flying hours," said Nunzio Martelli, Group Vice President, Industrial & Power Discrete Group, STMicroelectronics. "The technical success of Rosetta and Philae arriving alongside Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko is, at least in part, further proof of the durability and reliability of ST's products."
ST delivers all around the world hundreds of thousands of space-qualified radiation-hardened high-reliability components per year, including diodes and rectifiers, bipolar and MOSFET transistors, logic analog and power ICs, with many new products recently announced. They are manufactured at ST's Rennes (France) plant, which is certified by the European Space Component Committee and the US Defense Logistics Agency.
Note to editors
Rosetta was financed by the European Space Agency and by contributions from NASA1 member countries. Philae was developed and built by a consortium composed of DLR, CNES and ASI2, respectively the German, French and Italian space agencies.
For more information, go to http://sci.esa.int/rosetta/
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1 National Aeronautics and Space Administration
2 Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, and Agenzia Spaziale Italiana.
ST Celebrates the Success of Rosetta http://hugin.info/152740/R/1876126/661201.pdf