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Philae found -just in time for Rosetta’s finale

7 Sep 2016, 12:34 UTC
Philae found -just in time for Rosetta’s finale
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

There can be no doubt that the European Space Agency ROSETTA mission, to study Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko (or “CG” as I’m going to call it from now on because I am not typing that out every time, sorry!), has been an astounding success. Since arriving at the comet on August 6th 2014 it has revolutionised our understanding of what comets are, how they behave and, of course, what they look like. It has sent back tens of thousands of stunningly detailed images, most of which (after a very shaky and controversial start by the OSIRIS team) have now been released for everyone to admire and study and drool over, and the many instruments on the orbiter have told us what the comet is made of and how it “works”. Thanks to ROSETTA we will never look at comets in the same way again. And no matter how many missions fly to comets in the future, ROSETTA’s place in history is assured: it was the first probe to rendezvous with a comet and study it as it rounded the Sun.
But the end is nigh. After more than two years studying Comet CG, ROSETTA’s historic mission will end on September 30th when ...

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