Comet 67P on Aug. 3, 2014. ESA’s Rosetta probe snapped this image of its target, Comet 67P on Aug. 3, 2014 from a distance of 177 miles (285 kilometers). Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
I’ve been following the progress of the ESA Rosetta spacecraft recently as it neared Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
After a ten-year journey, today it arrived!
Here’s a link to the ESA live broadcast this morning. http://www.space.com/17933-nasa-television-webcasts-live-space-tv.html
More about Rosetta and the comet from Space.com online today:
Europe’s Rosetta Spacecraft Makes Historic Arrival at Comet
By Miriam Kramer, Staff Writer | August 06, 2014 06:00am ET
After a decade in space and 4 billion miles, Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft has made history: For the first time ever, a robotic probe from Earth is flying with a comet and will soon enter orbit.
The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft arrived at its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, today (Aug. 6) to end a 10-year journey across the solar system. The spacecraft performed an engine burn that brought it about 62 miles (100 kilometers) from the comet’s surface.
Comet 67P/C-G and Rosetta are now flying about 251 million miles (450 million kilometers) from Earth. Engineers on the ground had to program the probe to go through a series of complicated burns and maneuvers to make the spacecraft’s rendezvous with the comet a possibility.
“This is the end of 10 years of interplanetary flight,” Rosetta Flight Director Andrea Accomazzo said during ESA’s live comet rendezvous webcast Wednesday.
Applause broke out in Rosetta’s mission control center in Darmstadt, Germany, where a crowd of ESA dignitaries and officials had gathered to watch the historic event.
“We’re at the comet! Yes!” exclaimed Sylvain Lodiot, Rosetta’s spacecraft operations manager, once the probe’s successful arrival at Comet 67P/C-G was confirmed.
Rosetta is expected to stay in orbit around Comet 67P/C-G until the end of 2015. “We’re going to going to ride along with this comet. We’re going to have a ringside seat,” Matt Taylor, ESA Rosetta project scientist, said Wednesday as the spacecraft arrived at Comet 67P/C-G. “It’s going to be an awesome ride. Stay tuned.”
Link to entire article: http://www.space.com/26740-rosetta-spacecraft-comet-arrival.html