Rosetta comet-chasing mission comes to a dramatic end


We catch up with an Imperial mission scientist as the Rosetta spacecraft ends its 10-year mission by crashing into the surface of comet 67P.

The Rosetta spacecraft was launched in March 2004. It caught up with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014 and released the lander Philae several months later. It was the first time a craft had landed on a comet, but that wasn’t the end for Rosetta.

The mothership has been orbiting the comet ever since, collecting data and photographs. On 30 September the mission will finally come to a dramatic end as it is intentionally crashed into the comet’s surface.

Chris Carr, from the Space and Atmospheric Physics group at Imperial helped build one of the instruments aboard the Rosetta craft that measures an aspect of the comet’s environment. Listen to him describe the mission from start to finish – what they hoped to achieve, what they discovered along the way and what Rosetta’s final mission will be.


Hayley Dunning

Hayley Dunning
Communications Division

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Strategy-share-the-wonder, Space
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