Rosetta's Mission comes to a spectacular Close
ESA's Rosetta mission will conclude on Friday, September 30, 2016 when the faraway spacecraft will make a gentle collision with comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko after a remarkably successful mission of twelve and a half years.
Launched in 2004, Rosetta completed a decade-long, 6.4-billion Kilometer journey taking it to the dark & cold reaches of the Solar System before arriving at its target - the two-lobed comet whose shape has become iconic after Rosetta delivered its first high-resolution photos of the distant world.
Philae, dispatched for an unprecedented landing in November, delivered up-close data from the dark surface while Rosetta complete a two-year examination of 67P to open a window into a distant past of the solar system.
Rosetta's Journey (Credit: ESA)
|Launch||2 March 2004|
|First Earth gravity assist||4 March 2005|
|Mars gravity assist||25 February 2007|
|Second Earth gravity assist||13 November 2007|
|Asteroid Steins flyby||5 September 2008|
|Third Earth gravity assist||13 November 2009|
|Asteroid Lutetia flyby||10 July 2010|
|Enter deep space hibernation||8 June 2011|
|Exit deep space hibernation||20 January 2014|
|Rendezvous manoeuvres begin||7 May 2014|
|Arrive at comet||6 August 2014|
|Start global mapping||10 September 2014|
|Lander delivery||12 November 2014|
|Perihelion passage||13 August 2015|
|End of mission||30 September 2016|