Rosetta spacecraft collides with comet, as planned
After more than a decade of roaming tirelessly across the solar system, the comet-watching Rosetta spacecraft has gone to its eternal rest at last.
In a deliberate act of self-sacrifice, Rosetta plowed into the surface of comet 67P at roughly 6:39 a.m. ET. The collision was confirmed at 7.20 a.m. ET after signals reached Earth from the distant craft, which launched in 2004 and accompanied the comet’s wanderings for the last two years.
Rosetta’s suicide was a slow-motion affair. The spacecraft spent 14 hours free-falling towards the comet’s pitted Ma’at region. It impacted the dusty surface at a mere 2 mph – barely walking pace.