The European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta mission was designed to study the formation and evolution of the Solar System by exploring one of the oldest and most primordial heavenly bodies – comets. The mission consisted of the Rosetta orbiter and the Philae lander. The probes were launched on 2 March 2004, travelled 6.4 billion kilometres in 10 years and, with the help of a few planet swing-bys, arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 6 August 2014.
DLR played a major role in the construction of the lander and operated the Lander Control Center (LCC), from where the difficult task of landing on the comet on 12 November 2014 – a feat never before accomplished – was designed and controlled. On 27 July 2016, after almost two years of cometary exploration, the communications unit on board the Rosetta orbiter (which it used to communicate with the Philae lander) was switched off. On 30 September 2016, the operational part of the mission came to an official end, with the orbiter's controlled descent.
Information about the Rosetta mission is also available on the following DLR channels:
Video Status report on Philae from Lander Control Center
YouTube Rosetta mission - Philae lander videos
DLR on Facebook
Information about the results of the mission can be found here.
Goodbye from Comet 67P
Thank you all for being a part of the journey! From #CometLandung to #GoodbyePhilae.
Two-and-a-half years have passed since the operational phase of the Rosetta mission came to an end in September 2016. However, scientific evaluation of the enormous amounts of data from the instruments on the spacecraft and the Philae lander is still ongoing.
The 2017 Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement with Planetary Science has been awarded to the team behind the outstandingly successful exhibition, ‘Comets – The Rosetta Mission: Journey to the Origins of the Solar System’, at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin. Ulrich Köhler, Barbara Stracke and Ekkehard Kührt, of the DLR Institute of Planetary Research, will accept the award on behalf of the exhibition’s curation team.
The special exhibition 'COMETS – The Rosetta mission: A journey to the origins of the Solar System' has been the main attraction at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin for the last six months. Conceived and prepared by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in cooperation with the world-famous Berlin museum and the Max Planck Society, the exhibition ended on 26 January 2017.