Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Late-stage photography by Rosetta allowed for a much higher resolution dataset to be acquired, thus enabling much higher fidelity photogrammetry to be derived from that data, underscoring the vast potential for photography to play a bigger role in future missions.

The European Space Agency’s historic Rosetta mission probe was launched 2 March 2004 on a 10-year journey to rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The mission planned to study the comet’s nucleus and its environment for nearly two years, and land a probe on its surface. En route, the Rosetta space probe passed by two asteroids before entering deep-space hibernation mode in June 2011.

On 20 January 2014, the probe ‘woke up’ and prepared for arrival at comet 67P in August of that year. While orbiting the comet, the Rosetta probe deployed its Philae lander, which landed on the comet’s surface on 12 November. The orbit and landing on the comet marked the first time in history such extraordinary feats were achieved. The Rosetta probe continued to accompany the comet until the end of the mission, culminating in a controlled impact onto the comet’s surface on 30 September 2016.

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