Science objectives of the mission

The Rosetta orbiter heading towards its destination, the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Rosetta has travelled a distance of about seven billion kilometres. (Frame from 'Chasing A Comet – The Rosetta Mission'.)

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


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