Rosetta Spacecraft News

The Rosetta spacecraft, launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2004, is renowned for its ambitious mission to study the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It made history in 2014 by becoming the first spacecraft to orbit a comet and the first to deploy a lander, Philae, onto a comet’s surface. Rosetta’s decade-long journey covered over 6 billion kilometers through the solar system, utilizing gravitational assists from Earth and Mars to reach its target. The spacecraft’s suite of scientific instruments analyzed the comet’s nucleus and environment in unprecedented detail, providing insights into the composition and structure of cometary material, which is believed to be primordial in nature. This data is crucial for understanding the solar system’s formation and the origin of water and life on Earth. The mission concluded in September 2016 with a controlled descent onto the comet’s surface, marking the end of an era in cometary exploration.