CAP Journal Rosetta Special – Rosetta Cartoon Series

Cover of CAP Journal

The latest issue of the CAP Journal has been released, dedicated to the communication and outreach that surround the Rosetta mission. It features an article on the Rosetta cartoon series, co-authored by Design & Data’s Sebastian Marcu and Carlo Palazzari in collaboration with ESA.

Design & Data contributed to ESA’s campaign of the Rosetta mission through the creation of a cartoon animation, which due to increasing demand turned into a whole series. An article in the latest issue of CAP Journal (Issue 19) looks at How a Cartoon Series Helped the Public Care about Rosetta and Philae.

The article explores the series’ development and includes early sketches by Design & Data’s Carlo Palazzari. It describes the process of drawing the shapes of the probes to represent a simplified, but distinctly recognisable version of each spacecraft that took shape with anthropomorphic features such as arms, a mouth and eyes. The authors examine how different audiences responded to this decision to anthropomorphise the spacecraft and explore the level of engagement the cartoons generated, together with issues encountered.

Six cartoon episodes have been released so far, including a brief trailer for the “Rosetta, are we there yet?” competition. A compilation of scenes drawn from various episodes was also shown on screens throughout Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam without narration for several months at the end of 2015.

A number of episodes are envisaged in 2016 emphasising the main scientific discoveries of the mission, leading up to the final planned controlled impact of Rosetta on Comet 67P at the end of September 2016.