In Pictures: How to land on a comet

The European Space Agency successfully landed its Rosetta system on a hurtling comet

In Pictures: How to land on a comet next


Amazing stuff

The European Space Agency launched the Rosetta mission in 2004 and this week it completed its primary mission: Land on a comet. In its travels the spacecraft has zipped by Mars, snapped a few shots of the asteroids Steins and Lutetia, mostly hibernated for three years awaiting a rendezvous with the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta includes a main mother ship and Philae, the craft that actually landed on the comet. Rosetta will be the first spacecraft to land on and escort a comet as it enters our inner solar system, observing at close range how the comet changes as it hurtles towards the Sun.

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