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Rosetta
Rosetta Mission to Asteroids Rosetta Mission to Comets

Goals: The European Space Agency's Rosetta is the first mission designed to orbit and land on a comet. It consists of an orbiter and a lander -- called Philae. The two spacecraft carry 20 science instruments to make a detailed study of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for two years as it approaches our sun.

Accomplishments: After two successful asteroid encounters, Rosetta was placed into hibernation. In January 2014 Rosetta was "awakened" and is currently traveling towards its rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

   

Key Dates
2 Mar 2004:  Launch (07:17 UT)
5 Sep 2008:  Asteroid Steins Flyby
10 Jul 2010:  Asteroid Lutetia Flyby
20 Jan 2014:  Rosetta "Wakes Up"
May 2014:  Rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Aug 2014:  Global Mapping and Escort Mission Begins
Nov 2014:  Philae Lands on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Aug 2015:  Spacecraft & Comet Closest Approach to Sun
Status: In Flight
Fast Facts
Rosetta Facts Rosetta is named for the Rosetta Stone (right), an ancient script that provided the key to deconding Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Rosetta was initially going to visit another comet, but a launch delay caused it to miss its rendezvous window.

The team plans to fly past one asteroid during Rosetta's complex 10-year journey to the comet.

Rosetta gets its name from the famous Rosetta stone that led to the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics almost 200 years ago.

The lander is named for Philae, an island in the river Nile on which an obelisk was found that gave historians the final clues to decipher the Rosetta stone.

Rosetta is the most detailed study of a comet planned to date.
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Last Updated: 21 Jan 2014