Twelve-year journey of Rosetta ends; spacecraft crashes into comet
Monday, October 3, 2016
On Friday, European 's (ESA) spacecraft ended its mission, crashing into . Rosetta is the first spacecraft to orbit a comet; it traveled in space for twelve years and about eight billion (about five billion ).
The ESA's Germany control centre ceased to receive signals from the spacecraft, confirming the Rosetta mission's end, at 11:19 . Mission controllers said it was traveling about 90 per second on impact (two miles per hour), about a walking pace.,
Almost two years ago, in November 2014, Rosetta successfully landed a probe called Philae onto 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, with amongst its goals better understanding how thewas formed. Philae's discoveries included the presence of molecular oxygen and nitrogen on the comet. It also discovered water on the comet which, according to the scientists, had a different distribution of hydrogen isotopes from the water on earth.
The spacecraft studied the gas, dust, andimmediately surrounding the comet during its final approach.
ESA's director general
- "Mission complete: Rosetta's journey end in daring descent to comet" — , September 30, 2016
- "Rosetta Probe Ends 12-year Mission with Crash Into Comet" — , September 30, 2016