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Crash-landing ends Rosetta's epic comet mission

Friday, September 30, 2016 - 01:21

The groundbreaking mission of the Rosetta spacecraft comes to end after a scheduled crash landing on the very comet it was chasing for 12 years. Mana Rabiee reports.

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An emotional end to the Rosetta mission at the European Space Agency control center near Frankfurt, Germany… … after the Rosetta spacecraft crash-landed onto the comet it had been chasing for 12 years. (dissolve to animation of crash) The long pursuit came to a close, as Rosetta slowly descended towards the surface of comet "67P". Its instruments and camera, sending information about the structure of the comet before the crash landing forever ended its ability to communicate with earth. (mission FILE animation) The mission marked several historic firsts in space exploration: The first spacecraft to orbit around a comet ... the first to land a probe on one. Massive amounts of data sent by Rosetta over the years is helping scientists better understand how the Earth was formed. ESA Project Manager Matt Taylor: (SOUNDBITE) (English) ESA PROJECT MANAGER, MATT TAYLOR, SAYING: "We have a fantastic goldmine ready to tap into and we've just scratched the surface. We will have decades of science to do." For a dozen years, the spacecraft captured the public's imagination. The mission ends NOW because "67P" is racing towards the outer solar system - where even the intrepid Rosetta could not have followed.

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Crash-landing ends Rosetta's epic comet mission

Friday, September 30, 2016 - 01:21