Rosetta launched in 2004 and arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 6 August 2014. It is the first mission in history to rendezvous with a comet, escort it as it orbits the Sun, and deploy a lander to its surface. Rosetta is an ESA mission with contributions from its member states and NASA. Rosetta’s Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI.
After Rosetta’s ten year mission to land on a comet is a success. After a 7 hour descent of its Philae lander the European Space Agency’s mission control center in Darmstadt, Germany jumped for joy. For the first time in history, man has touched down on the surface of a comet. It happened at around 11:04AM Eastern Time.
“The harpoons have been fired and the landing gear has been moved inside. We’re on the surface. Philae is talking to us, more data to come,” he said. Spacecraft operations manager Andrea Accomazzo (whom the internet started calling “ESA Hoodie Guy”) couldn’t quite help himself. “We can’t be happier than we are now,” he yelped.
When Rosetta connected with the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in August that in itself was a big milestone. NASA used its Deep Impact probe to back in 2005 to get a closer look at a comet. However this is a great leap forward. The ESA has been receiving telemetry data from Philae since the it landed on the comet but we are still waiting for the first surface images. It is a great and exciting time for those in love with space. The possibilities are endless.