ESA Rosetta space mission: This is what it looks like when you land on a comet

Sarah Spickernell
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The mission to land on a comet was first launched in 2004 (Source: Getty)
In November last year, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta spaceship became the first ever man-made vehicle to land on a comet.
The event was a huge moment for the scientists involved in the mission, who had spent a whole decade working towards this moment.
Now, in celebration of one year passing since the comet's landing spot was first chosen, the ESA has released a video of the descent, using a series of stills taken by Rosetta's Rolis camera.
The images of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko's icy surface were taken 10 seconds apart, covering a distance of 58m – the spaceship’s landing probe was 67m above the comet's surface at the start of the video, and is nine metres from touchdown when it ends.

What's next for Rosetta?

What's next for Rosetta?
What happened after Rosetta landed wasn't quite what the mission team had intended – immediately after it touched down, the philae landing probe bounced away, and when it fell back down again it ended up in a deep, shadowed groove.
The team think they know approximately where the probe is now located, but aren't completely certain. Unfortunately, the lack of light available meant it could not recharge its battery, so it stopped communicating with earth less than three days after landing.
Earlier this year, season changes resulted in the philae being exposed to enough light to help it make brief bursts of contact, but every time it went back to sleep too quickly for any scientific analyses to be made. The researchers are unsure of when they would next hear from it.

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