Deir el-Medina on comet67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is final resting place for ESA’s Rosetta

Deir el-Medina on comet67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is final resting place for ESA’s Rosetta

Since the time, ESA’s Rosetta has rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014, it has sent back ample of vital data and thousands of images of the comet for scientists. But now, it is the time for the mission to come to an end.

The orbiter’s trajectory has been changed and it has now been closer to the comet’s surface. On September 29, Rosetta would be just a few kilometers away and execute a collision maneuver and on September 30, it will make a contact with the comet and the mission will come to an end.

Lately, the ESA has unveiled about the orbiter’s final resting place, which would be an area on the smaller lobe of the comet near Deir el-Medina, a 130 meter-wide pit. The ESA officials have been expecting that the orbiter should touch down near the pit.

The data provided by Rosetta is helping scientists better understand the formation of earth and other planets. In fact, it is the first time that a spacecraft has orbited a comet and also, it is the first time that a probe has landed on a comet’s surface.

It was also the first mission to be carried out beyond the main asteroid belt and completely dependent on solar cells for power. The comet’s distance from the sun is reaching to the point where solar power is not sufficient for the spacecraft to operate and download data from its computers.

Even in the final hours of its end, Rosetta will be taking close-up pictures of the comet and gather data on gases nearby to the surface joining Philae. “We haven't been in those last two kilometers (to the surface) with Rosetta and we believe it's fundamental in understanding how gases and dust get from the surface out to the outer atmosphere”, affirmed Matt Taylor, ESA's Rosetta project scientist.


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