News

Rosetta mission ends with comet touchdown

30 September 2016 Stephen Clark

Europe’s Rosetta mission ended its 12-year mission Friday with a slow-speed belly-flop on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, concluding an interplanetary odyssey that gave humanity a first close-up introduction to a class of objects which has stimulated imaginations for millennia.

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Engineers seek to stabilise radio link with comet lander

16 June 2015 Stephen Clark

Emboldened by renewed contact with Europe’s comet lander, engineers are repositioning the mission’s Rosetta mothership this week to establish a reliable a communications link with the dishwasher-sized Philae landing craft, a prerequisite for resuming a science campaign abbreviated by a power shortfall last year.

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Scientific riches await Philae comet lander, if it wakes up

25 December 2014 Stephen Clark

Optimistic Europe’s hibernating Philae comet lander can be revived, mission controllers plan to try and contact the spacecraft as soon as January as the search narrows for the probe’s final resting place — a site within arm’s reach of pristine ice and organic matter ripe for analysis if the mission gets a new lease on life.

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All is ready for historic comet landing

11 November 2014 Stephen Clark

This week marks the pinnacle of the professional careers of many scientists, when the European Space Agency plans to put down a three-legged robotic lander on a comet, a risky first-of-a-kind endeavor that could rewrite textbooks on the history of the solar system.