Historic Rosetta Comet Mission a Success for the ESA
The Rosetta Mission, the first ever space mission to orbit and land a spacecraft on a comet, ended Sept. 30.
According to the European Space Agency, the Rosetta mission was launched in March 2004 and took over 10 years to reach its destination, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Fortunately, the Rosetta spacecraft successfully arrived at the comet in August 2014 and sent a probe, Philae, down to the surface, according to www.esa.int.
According to NASA, studying comets can reveal crucial information about the formation of our solar system, as many comets are theorized to have been created at the same time the planets were formed.
The NASA site reported that studying the makeup of materials on comets could reveal whether they have delivered water and other complex particles to planets they collided with. The Philae probe found such complex particles, including the amino acid glycine, a component of proteins, and phosphorus, a component of DNA, within the comet.
Scientists planned to have the Rosetta gather final data on Sept. 30 as it made a controlled impact on the comet’s surface. The sensors analyzed the comet’s surface environment and took high-definition pictures as it descended, before losing signal upon impact, according to the European Space Agency.