The hopes are that using the Rosetta orbiter and its landing craft Philae to analyse the comet core, both of which will send back to Earth the results of chemical, physical and mineralogical examinations in addition to their images, will establish a greater understanding of the comet's origins and properties and hence the formation and evolution of the Solar System.
The mission's most important tasks are:
- overall characterisation of the comet core and its surface properties
- identification of the chemical and mineralogical composition and isotope relationships
- measurement of physical properties in the comet core such as structure, thermal, electrical and magnetic properties
- observation of the comet's activity as it approaches the Sun and its interaction with the environment.