“We are here” — Rosetta spacecraft becomes the first to rendezvous with a comet

Gigaom

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.

ESA Rosetta spacecraft“After ten years, five months and four days traveling towards our destination, looping around the Sun five times and clocking up…

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