OCT 14, 2019 3:55 PM PDT

How the Rosetta Mission Augmented Our Understanding of Comets

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

The European Space Agency (ESA) launched its Rosetta mission in 2004 to study the particularly captivating comet 67P, and after a ten-year journey, the mission arrived at its destination. With the help of the Rosetta mission, the ESA captured countless photographs of the distant world’s surface, and even deployed a lander called Philae to get up close and personal.

Philae was the first lander ever to set foot on a comet, but its scientific usefulness was quickly interrupted by a less-than-ideal landing that positioned its solar panels out of the reach by the Sun’s bright rays. That aside, planetary scientists did what they could with Philae’s limited power reserve, and later focused on the Rosetta spacecraft itself to study 67P instead.

The circumstances surrounding the Rosetta mission were particularly unique, and while some might consider the Philae part of the mission to be a failure, mission scientists consider the mission an overwhelming success due to what we learned. In fact, some of what we learned is already being implemented into a future mission similar to Rosetta, dubbed Comet Interceptor.

While the Rosetta mission officially ended in 2016, scientists are still analyzing the mission’s data with the hope of finding something that may have been overlooked. The data has already contributed to a bevy of new discoveries, including the novel idea that comet-centric outbursts could be linked to cliff collapses and bouncing boulders, among other things.

Given what we’ve learned from the Rosetta mission, we’re particularly excited about what similar missions in the future might teach us about the solar system we live in.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 19, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Did interstellar organic material form water on Earth?
JUL 19, 2020
Did interstellar organic material form water on Earth?
A recent study published in Scientific Reports sheds light on how our planet’s water could have first come to be. ...
OCT 03, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
New observations on supermassive black holes
OCT 03, 2020
New observations on supermassive black holes
New observations from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) provide insight on how supermas ...
OCT 08, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
How much radiation do super flares emit?
OCT 08, 2020
How much radiation do super flares emit?
Research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill published in Astrophysical Journal contemplates the amount ...
OCT 16, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The "Missing" Laureate at 2020 Physics Nobel
OCT 16, 2020
The "Missing" Laureate at 2020 Physics Nobel
Last week, the science community celebrated the awarding of this year's Nobel Physics Prize to a trio of black hole ...
OCT 21, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why Some Astronauts Get Blurry Vision After Spaceflight
OCT 21, 2020
Why Some Astronauts Get Blurry Vision After Spaceflight
Researchers from the University of Antwerp in Belgium have found that the fluid surrounding the brain, known as craniosp ...
NOV 06, 2020
Space & Astronomy
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
NOV 06, 2020
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
Researchers have found that there could be at least 300 million habitable worlds in the Milky Way galaxy. This could mea ...
Loading Comments...