Apr 30, 2016

5 Takeaways From ESA’s Rosetta Comet Mission

Posted by in category: space travel

Comets are more complicated than ever imagined and even after ESA’s spectacularly successful mission to 67P, researchers are still debating whether they delivered most of the water to Earth and whether they helped jumpstart life here on terra firma.

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta mission to the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has arguably given planetary scientists the best new cometary data in a generation. Although the mission’s Philae lander has long ceased communication from the comet’s surface, the Rosetta spacecraft will continue operations until September when it makes a final touchdown on 67P’s surface. As I noted here previously, at that point, Rosetta will be so far from the Sun it will be on the verge of exhausting all its power.

But next month, researchers will meet at The Royal Society in London to discuss the data and the direction cometary science should take in this post-Rosetta era.

Here are a few takeaways from the mission.

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