Early on Wednesday, the Rosetta spacecraft – launched over a decade ago – rendezvoused with the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet as planned. The spacecraft will now accompany the comet on its solar orbit for a year.
This is a first for humanity, and it should give us an unprecedented view into the nature of comets. Rosetta is currently accompanying the comet from a 100-km (62-mile) distance, but the European Space Agency (ESA), which is behind the mission, hopes to get closer than 30 km. Rosetta already studied a couple of asteroids in close detail while en route to its date with 67P.
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