Rosetta: Europe’s Billion-Euro Experiment Makes Comet Contact
After traveling for more than 10 years and further than 6.4 billion kilometers, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft has arrived at its destination.
The probe is currently within 62 miles of a rubber duck-shaped comet known humbly as 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The goal of the one billion-euro project is to study the stellar body as it becomes more active in order to answer questions about the origins of the solar system. For example, scientists hope to learn more about whether comets brought water to Earth and, possibly, other planets.
Rosetta will eventually move closer to the comet, and, if all goes according to plan, land a separate probe on the surface of the icy space rock.
According to ESA chief Jean-Jacques Dordain, quoted by The Guardian, Rosetta lapped the sun five times in its extraordinary journey and “is now the first spacecraft in history to rendezvous with a comet.”
— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer’TIS THE REASON…
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