The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, which has been studying comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, a 10 billion tonne piece of rock over 300 million miles away from Earth, came to a unique and spectacular ending today.
The mission, which has captured the public’s imagination the world-over, began 12-and-a-half years ago on March 2, 2004 and ended by crash landing the spacecraft into the surface of 67P. Since Rosetta successfully entered 67P’s atmosphere in 2014, we have been treated with thousands of specular, otherworldly images.
Learn more about Rosetta and the final "daring" descent:
"The descent gave Rosetta the opportunity to study the comet’s gas, dust and plasma environment very close to its surface, as well as take very high-resolution images.
Pits are of particular interest because they play an important role in the comet’s activity. They also provide a unique window into its internal building blocks.
The information collected on the descent to this fascinating region was returned to Earth before the impact. It is now no longer possible to communicate with the spacecraft."