Goodnight, Sweet Philae: Bid to Reawaken Rosetta's Lander Near Impossible

From ESA, “Welcome to a Comet”: “Philae’s view of the cliffs at Abydos. One of the lander’s three feet can be seen in the foreground.” Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

It would have been a heroic coda to an already ambitious, historic mission, but alas, it was not meant to be. For the past few months, […]

Rosetta Mission and Philae Lander Celebrate One Year Since Historic Touchdown on a Comet

Artist’s concept of Philae on the surface of Comet 67P, with the Rosetta spacecraft orbiting overhead. Image Credit: CNES/DUCROS David/ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta mission continues to capture the world’s imagination one year following the historic touchdown(s) of its Philae lander. On Nov. 12, Philae surpassed its one-year […]

Rosetta Detects Molecular Oxygen at Comet 67P, Adding to Year of Firsts

From ESA: “This single frame Rosetta navigation camera image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was taken on 18 October 2015 from a distance of 433 km from the comet centre. The image has a resolution of 36.9 m/pixel and measures 37.8 km across.” Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam (Note: This image has been cropped.)

The European Space Agency’s […]

A Perfect Day for Sunbathing: A Year After Its Arrival, Rosetta Observes Comet 67P at Perihelion

From ESA: “This series of images of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was captured by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 12 August 2015, just a few hours before the comet reached the closest point to the Sun along its 6.5-year orbit, or perihelion.” The center image shows a significant outburst. Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

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Philae's First Science Results Highlight an Unexpected Cometary World

From ESA: “Zooming in to a portion of the fractured cliff face imaged by CIVA camera 4 reveals brightness variations in the comet’s surface properties down to centimetre and millimetre scales. The dominant constituents are very dark conglomerates, likely made of organics. The brighter spots could represent mineral grains, perhaps even pointing to ice-rich […]

Rosetta Team Troubleshoots Philae as Comet's Activity 'Heats Up'

From ESA: ““This single frame Rosetta navigation camera image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was taken on 14 July 2015 from a distance of 161 km from the comet centre. The image has a resolution of 13.7 m/pixel and measures 14 km across.” Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) […]

Rosetta Update: Team Ramps Up for Perihelion, Communications With Philae, and Remembering Dr. Claudia Alexander

From ESA: ” This image focuses on Apis and Atum regions on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s large lobe in the foreground, with parts of the small lobe in the background. The image is a mosaic of two OSIRIS narrow-angle camera images. The images were acquired on 5 September 2014 when Rosetta was about 40 km from […]

ESA's Historic Rosetta Mission Extended Through September 2016

Rosetta and Philae at comet 67P. Credit: ESA–C. Carreau/ATG medialab

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the Rosetta mission, which saw the spacecraft successfully orbit a comet and set a lander down upon its surface in a series of historic firsts, has been extended. Just days after it was revealed Philae, Rosetta’s lander, […]

Philae Is Alive! ESA Comet Lander Feared Dead, Phones Home After 7 Months of Silence

ESA Philae lander approaches comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014 as imaged from Rosetta orbiter after deployment and during seven-hour-long approach for first ever touchdown on a comet’s surface. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA – Composition by Marco Di Lorenzo/Ken Kremer

The European Space Agency (ESA) made history last fall with the long-awaited […]