home Mind-Boggling Stories We Just Landed On A Comet!

We Just Landed On A Comet!

Earlier this morning, the Rosetta satellite successfully landed a probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko! Trace is here to explain how the European Space Agency managed to do this.

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Rosetta Mission Timeline

Rosetta’s Frequently Asked Questions

Rosetta’s Target: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

“There are hundreds of comets flying around the Solar System, each of them a potential target for ESA’s comet-chasing Rosetta mission.”

How Rosetta Arrives At A Comet

“After travelling nearly 6.4 billion kilometres through the Solar System, ESA’s Rosetta is closing in on its target, but how does a spacecraft actually arrive at a comet?”

How Probes Get ‘Gravity Assists’ in Their Journeys Through Space

“The Rosetta space probe made history this month when it became the first mission to orbit a comet—but the operation wouldn’t have been possible without several key assists from Earth and Mars.”

Rosetta comet mission: Landing site named ‘Agilkia’

“The landing site on a comet to be targeted by Europe’s Philae robot on 12 November has been named “Agilkia” following a public competition.”


“On 6 August 2014, the Rosetta mission achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first mission to rendezvous with a comet.”

Gravity Assist

“With the recent announcement by NASA that the 36 year-old spacecraft Voyager 1 has officially entered interstellar space at a distance from the Sun about four times further than Neptune’s orbit, and with Voyager 2 not far behind, it seems worthwhile to explore how humans managed to fling objects so far into space.”

Gravity Assists/Flybys A Quick Gravity Assist Primer

“The ‘gravity assist’ concept has proven to be a fundamental technique to help in exploring our ‘back yard’ — the solar system.”

How can we use planets and moons to “slingshot” a space ship into a different path?

“Slingshot paths are called Gravity Assist Trajectories.”

Photo © ESA/Handout/Corbis


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