1. Cosmic collision
On 12 November 2014, the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe went into orbit around Comet 67P and successfully deployed its Philae lander on the surface. Now the team behind this extraordinary feat is planning an even more perilous manoeuvre.
In September 2016, they hope to crash land Rosetta onto the icy rock. It will be Esa’s last chance to gather data from the comet using the spacecraft.
Yet the Rosetta mission has already made several significant discoveries – revealing secrets of the Solar System and transforming our knowledge of these mysterious cosmic bodies.
2. Setting a precedent
Which of these historic ‘firsts’ were achieved during the Rosetta mission?
3. CLICKABLE: Four major discoveries
Click on the labels to reveal how Rosetta has already contributed to our understanding of life and the Universe.
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4. Rosetta’s grand finale
As the Comet 67P’s orbit took it away from the Sun, Rosetta received less of the solar energy it needed to function. Before it shut down, Esa had one last chance to collect data.
In September 2016, the scientists deliberately crashed the craft into the comet. In its final moments, Rosetta’s powerful cameras and imaging spectrometers captured a host of high resolution images.
The impact brought to a close what is arguably one of the most successful space exploration missions of all time.