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Space & Astronomy

Rosetta is destroyed in comet crash-landing

By T.K. Randall
September 30, 2016 · Comment icon 14 comments

The space probe's mission has finally come to an end. Image Credit: CC BY-3.0 DLR
ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has gone out in a blaze of glory by deliberately colliding with comet 67P.
Launched all the way back in 2004, the first space probe ever to enter in to orbit around a comet arrived at its destination after a journey through space spanning more than 10 years.

Accompanying Rosetta was Philae, a small lander which itself managed to secure a place in the history books when it touched down on the comet's surface after a short but harrowing descent.
Now with the last of its fuel reserves almost exhausted and having taught us more about comets than anyone thought possible, Rosetta has ended its historic mission in spectacular fashion by crash-landing on to the comet's surface at approximately 7:19am Eastern Time (ET) this morning.

The final images it returned showed close-ups of the comet's surface from a height of 167ft.

"This is it," said mission manager Patrick Martin. "I can announce the full success of this historic descent of Rosetta toward 67P, and I declare the primary mission operations ended for Rosetta."

Source: New York Times | Comments (14)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Clair 8 years ago
How to Watch Europe's Rosetta Comet Mission Finale Europe's history-making Rosetta comet mission is coming to an end, and you can watch the grand finale live Thursday and Friday (Sept. 29 and Sept. 30). Around 6:40 a.m. EDT (1040 GMT) Friday morning, Rosetta is scheduled to spiral slowly down onto the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which the robotic spacecraft has been orbiting for more than two years. You can follow that epic moment live on — as well a variety of other Rosetta events Thursday and Friday — courtesy of NASA TV and the European Space Agency (ESA). Read... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by Merc14 8 years ago
Reading the comments it seems many don't agree with the decision to end the mission this way but the science team must feel the data they can gather is worth it and outweighs the possible science Rosetta could do if it survived another, even longer, hibernation.  I think they are making the right decision as the spacecraft has performed incredibly but is now over 12 years old and unlikely to survive another trip through deep space.  Get some new science you never expected to get while you are sure to have an operable craft rather than risk losing it forever to gather more of what you have... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by toast 8 years ago
Watch ROSETTA touch down today @10:20 UTC today here
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
If all has gone well Rosetta is on the surface of the comet, the mission is over and the fabulous little machine is no more. It will be 40 minutes before we know for sure. NASA may still be the best space agency when it comes to robotic exploration of the solar system but Rosetta proves ESA are a very close second.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
Loss of signal. The transmitter can no longer be switched back on. No more data to be received, the mission is at an end. Farewell Rosetta. Now there will be years of scientists analysing the data. The mission may be over but the science is far from finished.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
Mission complete: Rosetta’s journey ends in daring descent to comet  
Comment icon #11 Posted by third_eye 8 years ago
Now its just a matter of some far off galactic version of Archeologists to find little Rosetta ... ~
Comment icon #12 Posted by Sundew 8 years ago
Humans: Litterbugs of the solar system.
Comment icon #13 Posted by highdesert50 8 years ago
ESA did a imaginative video titled Ambition reflective of Rosetta on Youtube and also just posted the Epilogue:
Comment icon #14 Posted by WideOpenMind 8 years ago
i hope the aliens living inside the comet weren't annoyed by the rosetta crashing. they already made sure the little lander didn't work.

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