Imperial College London

Anxious wait for Rosetta mission as craft tries to land on comet

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Rosetta's landing craft is making its final descent towards comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko today after a ten year mission.

The Rosetta mission is aiming to provide a vital insight into the processes which led to the formation of not only comets, but also the planets, our Sun and the rest of the Solar System.

If all goes well, the landing craft is due to land on the comet’s surface at around 15.30 GMT. Confirmation of a successful landing is expected to reach Earth around half an hour later.

Rosetta, which is coordinated by the European Space Agency, launched in 2004 and was in hibernation for 31 months of the journey in order to save energy before coming back online in January this year.

Chris Carr, Senior Research Lecturer from Imperial’s Department of Physics, is one of the Principal Investigators of the Rosetta mission. He has been leading the design and production of a unit that controls the plasma sensors on the spacecraft, as part of the Rosetta Plasma Consortium.

Chris speaks to Gail Wilson about the mission in the audio interview above. The interview was recorded in January, shortly before Rosetta ‘woke up’ from hibernation.

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Michael Jones

Michael Jones
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Email: michael.jones1@imperial.ac.uk

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