Eu­rope's comet chas­er

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.





Background articles



Elke Heinemann

Digital Communications
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Corporate Communications
Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne
Tel: +49 2203 601-1852

Dr. Ekkehard Kührt

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Planetary Research, Asteroids and Comets
Linder Höhe, 51147 Köln

Stephan Ulamec

MMX rover scientific manager
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Space Operations and Astronaut Training
Microgravity User Support Center (MUSC)
Münchener Straße 20, 82234 Weßling