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Old 07-08-14, 17:00   #1
 
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European Union VIDEO-Rosetta Space Craft Crash Lands on Comet >12yr Historic Mission Ends

Rosetta has Arrived! Probe Reveals Incredible Close-up Pictures of Comet after Successful Rendezvous with one of our Solar System's Most Mysterious Objects

  • Rosetta is in orbit 62 miles (100km) of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
  • Tiny probe is flying beside the comet at a slow walking pace of 1m/sec
  • It has taken ten years and four billion miles to reach 'rubber duck' comet
  • It has been described by Esa as 'the sexiest, most fantastic mission ever'
  • Images reveal close-up detail which scientists will explain in coming days
  • Probe will drop a landing craft, named Philae, onto the comet in November
  • Information from the mission is expected to help scientists understand the origin of comets, the solar system, and possibly life
7 August 2014

A European spacecraft, dubbed Rosetta, has successfully caught up with a flying comet... following a 10-year chase.



After ten years and four billion miles, Rosetta has finally caught up with its comet following a series of spectacular manoeuvres.
The tiny probe is now in orbit within 62 miles (100km) of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko which is travelling at 34,000 mph (55,000 km per hour).
Described as ‘the sexiest, most fantastic mission ever’, Rosetta will spend more than a year analysing the comet to help uncover the secrets to life on Earth.

Scroll down for video



'Hello, Comet!': Esa today released the latest image of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Twitter.
The probe is in orbit within 62 miles (100km) of the comet after a decade-long chase through the solar system



During the hotly anticipated rendezvous, Rosetta edged closer to its target adjusting its speed so that it was flying beside the comet at a slow walking pace of 1m/sec (2.2mph, 3.6kph).
Mission controllers had to wait a nail-biting 22 minutes to know that the manoeuvre had been successful.

'I was relaxed today, but when I saw those pictures all my emotions came flooding back,' mission director Paolo Ferri told MailOnline.

The images reveal stunning close-up details of the comet, which scientists hope to better explain in the coming months.



Images reveal close-up details of the comet, which scientists hope to better explain in the coming months.
Comet's 'head' is at the left of the frame, which is casting shadow onto the 'neck' and 'body' to the right






A timeline of Rosetta's journey to comet 67P. The probe was launched in March 2004 from Kourou in French Guinana.
In January this year, after 3 years, Rosetta woke up from hibernation to chase down its comet


'I was impressed that on the neck that connects the two parts of the comet there is something like the side of a mountain.
'It’s like looking at the Alps on a very high wall. It is incredible.'

Today's event marks the beginning of a series of weekly thruster burns that will take place every Wednesday and Sunday well into 2015 to keep the spacecraft in orbit around the comet.
Rosetta’s initial orbit will see it travel around the comet in a three-legged triangular path with a small thruster burn at each ‘end’ of the triangle.
Each leg of this triangle is about 62 miles (100km) long, and it will take Rosetta about three or four days to traverse each leg.

Spacecraft catches up to comet after 10-year chase:







Close up detail focusing on a smooth region on the 'base' of the 'body' section of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
The image was taken by Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera and downloaded today






Scientists were this morning following the flight of the Rosetta spacecraft from the
control centre of the European Space Agency (Esa) in Darmstadt, western Germany





Rosetta’s initial orbit will see it travel around the comet in a three-legged triangular path
with a small thruster burn at each ‘end’ of the triangle. Each leg of this triangle is about 62 miles (100km) long

The probe flew into space more than a decade ago and had to perform a series of complex manoeuvres to gain enough speed to chase down comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Previous missions to study comets have been brief fly-bys to gather data or collect samples of dust.
Rosetta, however, will fly around comet 67P in a form of orbit for more than a year, using its 21 instruments to collect data.

Scientists hope the mission will reveal more about the origins of comets and other celestial bodies.
If all goes according to plan the probe will also drop a small landing craft, named Philae, onto the comet's icy surface in November.

Spacecraft catches up to comet after 10-year chase:


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Old 03-10-16, 10:19   #2
 
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Update re: VIDEO-Rosetta Space Craft Crash Lands on Comet >12yr Historic Mission Ends

Rosetta Crash Lands on Comet, Brings Historic Mission to an End

By AP, posted 3 October 2016.


BERLIN, 30 Sept (Reuters) - The European Space Agency said the Rosetta spacecraft has crash-landed on a comet after an historic 12 years spent chasing it across more than 6 billion kilometres of space.

Scientists at the control centre in Darmstadt clapped as hugged after screens showed the loss of signal as Rosetta touched down on the comet.

"Thank you Rosetta", ESA Director General Jan Woerner tweeted after the landing was confirmed.



By The Numbers: 12 years Chasing a Comet.....


BERLIN (AP) — It's been 4,595 days since the Rosetta space probe was lifted into orbit on the first stage of its 12-year mission to chase down comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Here is a look at some of the other numbers, big and small, surrounding the mission:

___



Picture shows view into the control room at the European Space Agency sea in Darmstadt, Germany, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. Rosetta will be impacted on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Friday, marking the end of the twelve years lasting Rosetta mission. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)



SPACE ODYSSEY

As journeys go, this one was epic. According to the European Space Agency the Rosetta probe has travelled some 7,971,290,298 kilometers (4,953,359,791 miles) during its lifetime — almost 21,000 times the distance from the Earth to the moon.
___


HIGH-SPEED CHASE

In order to catch up with a comet the Rosetta probe had to swing around Earth and Mars, using the planets' gravity to pick up speed. That's because 67P is flying through space at a breathtaking pace of up to 34 kilometers per second (21 miles per second).
___


DUCK SHAPE

As Rosetta got close to 67P scientists were surprised to see that the comet is made up of two 'lobes' connect by a thin neck, prompting some to liken its shape to that of a rubber duck. While big for a duck, it's still small by cosmic standards: just 4.1 kilometers (3 miles) across at the largest point. The comet weighs some 10 billion metric tons (11 billion tons), though it is steadily losing matter as it hurtles through space.
___

TIN CAN

Compared with the comet, Rosetta is tiny. The span of its solar wings is 32 meters (105 feet) from tip to tip. The probe itself measures just 2.8 x 2.1 x 2 meters. Philae is even smaller — just 1 cubic meter, or about the size of a washing machine.
___


SOLAR FLY-BY

Comet 67P follows an elliptical course that takes it from close to Jupiter's orbit — some 850 million kilometers (528 million miles) away from the sun — almost to Earth's orbit, about 186 million kilometers (115 million miles) from the sun, and back over the course of 6˝ years.
___


VAST TREASURE

The instruments on board Rosetta and Philae have collected a wealth of data that scientists say will take many years to fully analyze. In total the probes sent 218.25 gigabytes of data home to Earth.
___


STAYING POWER

Scientist say that one of the main benefits of the Rosetta mission compared with previous missions — apart from the world's first landing on a comet — was the length of time that the probe spent in 67P's orbit. During its 786 days flying alongside the comet, Rosetta was able to observe its evolution across several 'seasons' as 67P flew toward and then away from the sun again.





A model of orbiter Rosetta hangs from the ceiling in a conference room at the European Space Agency ESA in Darmstadt, Germany, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. Rosetta will be impacted on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Friday, marking the end of the twelve years lasting Rosetta mission. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)






The artist impression provided on the website of the European Space Agency ESA on Sept. 29, 2016 shows ESA's Rosetta cometary probe. The spacecraft will be crash landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Sept. 30, 2016. (J. Huart/ESA via AP)






A model of orbiter Rosetta hangs from the ceiling in a conference room at the European Space Agency ESA in Darmstadt, Germany, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. Rosetta will be impacted on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Friday, marking the end of the twelve years lasting Rosetta mission. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)






Picture shows view into the control room at the European Space Agency sea in Darmstadt, Germany, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. Rosetta will be impacted on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Friday, marking the end of the twelve years lasting Rosetta mission. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
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