October 23, 2017

Gravitational wave testbed repurposed as comet dust detector

April 26, 2017

In the final months of Europe’s LISA Pathfinder mission, scientists have found an unexpected use for the trailblazing testbed for a future gravitational wave observatory by tracking the tiny dings made by microscopic particles that strike the spacecraft in deep space, exploiting the impacts to learn about the population of dust grains cast off by comets and asteroids across the solar system.

Rosetta’s comet shows scars from swing through inner solar system

March 22, 2017

Scientists examining imagery from Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft have logged numerous changes to the face of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, from collapsing cliffs to a growing crack through the comet’s neck that could foretell the eventual unraveling of the city-sized icy world.

Rosetta’s last photos of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

October 1, 2016

Just before settling to a soft crash landing Friday, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft captured close-range images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, peering into a stadium-sized pit and recording a final dataset to keep scientists busy long after the mission’s end.

Rosetta mission ends with comet touchdown

September 30, 2016

Europe’s Rosetta mission ended its 12-year mission Friday with a slow-speed belly-flop on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, concluding an interplanetary odyssey that gave humanity a first close-up introduction to a class of objects which has stimulated imaginations for millennia.

Live coverage: Rosetta’s final hours

September 30, 2016

Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft closed out a historic 4.9-billion-mile journey Friday with a slow-speed crash into the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the tiny world it has studied for the last two years, capturing some of the mission’s best science data to help unravel the inner workings of the comet. Confirmation of the crash landing arrived on Earth at 1119 GMT (7:19 a.m. EDT).

Rosetta spacecraft heads for comet crash landing

September 29, 2016

The European Space Agency’s $1.6 billion Rosetta spacecraft closed in Thursday for a deliberate crash landing on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko early Friday, a slow-motion kamikaze plunge to bring the enormously successful mission to an end after more than two years of unprecedented close-range observations.

Lost Philae lander found on comet

September 5, 2016

Scientists culling through images taken last week by the Rosetta spacecraft’s sharp-eyed science camera have finally pinpointed the exact spot the Philae lander settled on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after a daring descent nearly two years ago, the European Space Agency announced Monday.

Scientists to land, and switch off, Rosetta comet probe in September

July 2, 2016

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission will end Sept. 30 with a dicey descent to the core of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a risky, but potentially rewarding finale punctuated by commands to automatically safe the probe’s rocket thrusters and turn off its radio transmitter.

Dizzying final few months planned for Rosetta comet probe

February 23, 2016

Entering the final months of a 12-year mission, Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft is again moving closer to the oddball comet that has engaged scientists since it arrived in 2014, heading for a controlled “smash” landing on the comet’s rugged charcoal-colored surface at the end of September.

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