Europe’s Rosetta comet-chasing spacecraft has started going after its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Launched back in 2004, Rosetta has taken a rather circuitous route out to its icy target. This has involved making a number of flybys of the inner planets, using their gravity to pick up sufficient speed for the eventual encounter.
ESA mission controllers started the first of ten planned manuvres to put Rosetta into orbit around 67P. The spacecraft has sent back its first hi-res images of the comet so that planners can find a place to put down a lander.
– Ex astris, scientia –
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