Wednesday 12 November 2014

A Big Day for the Rosetta Team

Today is a big day for the Rosetta team. This morning, in Darmstadt, the ESA flight team gave the go-ahead to release the Philae lander on its way for an historic landing on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

This mission, which was first conceived in the 1980s, has been many years in the making. It was launched on 2nd March 2004 with the objective of visiting this comet. Over a period of ten years, Rosetta navigated a complex series of ever increasing orbits of the sun, until on 6th August this year it achieved a successful rendezvous with 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Rosetta is the first craft to have made a rendezvous with a comet, and the success of the Philae lander is by no means certain. What happens today will be a complex and difficult landing, and the eyes of the world will be on the live feeds.

I want to wish the team success with this bold endeavour.

Image, courtesy ESA

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