Rosetta Mission Resolution

Today is the day that the Rosetta spacecraft will end its mission that it has been working on for two years. Its strange to imagine that it has been that long as it seems just a couple of months ago I was in a lecture detailing the engineering of the equipment aboard the vessel. The Rosetta mission was record breaking in many ways, it is the first spacecraft to follow and orbit a comet and the Philae lander is the first human object to have a controlled landing on a comet. This allowed the first surface taken images and first on ground chemical test data to be collected. This isn’t even going into the specifics of the first ultraviolet photography of a comet; first mostly primary solar powered craft near Jupiter’s orbit; and first recorded data of  ice melting on approach to the Sun. With the mission over it will be Rosetta’s fate to crash, albeit slowly, into the comets surface. Of course scientists, never missing an opportunity, have fitted it with even more sensitive cameras than the Philae lander in order to get some final pictures back to Earth before its demise. In a way it will be quite sad to think that it is no longer corkscrewing its path through space, but it is likely to have an permanent resting place on the comet until eventually having a collision with the Sun in a couple of million years.


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