Rosetta Crash-lands On Comet, Ending 12-year Space Mission

Europe’s pioneering Rosetta spacecraft concluded a 12-year odyssey with a controlled crash-landing onto the comet it has orbited and probed for two years to unravel the secrets of the solar system’s birth. In the hours before the crash-landing rosetta gathered crucial last-gasp data from nearer the galactic wanderer than ever before its instruments primed to sniff the comet’s gassy halo measure temperature and gravity and take close-up pictures of the spot that is now its icy tomb. The craft had been programmed for a “controlled impact”, at a human walking pace of about 90 centimeters per second, after a 14-hour freefall from an altitude of 19 kilometers. Wild cheering erupted in the mission control centre in darmstadt as spacecraft operations manager sylvain lodiot announced the official end of mission.

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