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.

Rosetta mission ends with successful comet landing.

Concluding a two year mission at 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Europe’s Rosetta mission ended September 30 when the controllers instructed the probe to land on the comet.

Rosetta took over 98,200 images over the course of its 12.5 year mission, with its final one, seen above, taken from an altitude of just 60 feet.

The immensely successful mission ended at 7:19am EDT September 30 when the spacecraft softly landed on the irregularly-shaped comet’s smaller lobe. Rosetta touched down at around 2 miles per hour, concluding a 14.5 hour descent trajectory that began mid-Thursday.

Since comet 67P is moving away from Earth towards the opposite side of the solar system, Rosetta’s final signal took nearly 40 minutes to arrive on Earth. Three of the spacecraft’s 11 instruments were turned off for the landing, allowing controllers to perform scientific observations almost up to the exact moment of loss of signal.

Rosetta’s landing spot, marked in blue, taken by the spacecraft’s OSIRIS imaging camera.

Today’s End of Mission marked the second time in history that a man-made object safely landed on the surface of a comet; Rosetta deployed the Philae lander in November, 2014 to touch down on 67P’s larger lobe. Although successful, the lander bounced on impact and came to rest in a dark crevice, and its solar-powered batteries lasted only a few hours.

Philae’s precise landing spot was unknown for nearly the rest of Rosetta’s mission until September 3, when the spacecraft finally captured the lander on its side.


“Everything I ever did, I did for her. Now she’s gone, but I’m still here.”

Why was this scene so perfect? So real and human? I wanted to do a piece like this ever since I saw that episode almost close to a year ago now. Really loved the colours in making this one and I hope like you it too.

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