Rosetta Has Almost Arrived

We’ve waited ten long years since Rosetta launched but finally, after flybys of Earth (three times), Mars and other asteroids, Rosetta will finally reach the Churyumov–Gerasimenko comet tomorrow. It’s already pretty close (as seen by pictures it’s sending back) but it will officially decelerate into orbit around the comet which is a first for humanity.

After mapping the surface for a while, it’ll achieve another first by sending the air-conditioner sized Philae lander towards the comet which should be able to grapple onto the surface and send back data about the general make up of the comet.

Between this and the New Horizons approach to Pluto next summer, we get to see the results of some very long term space exploration which is always exciting. Go science!

Tue, Aug 5, 2014