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Photos: Europe's Rosetta Comet Mission in Pictures

Crash Landing Confirmed

ESA

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission made an historic landing on a comet on Nov. 12, 2014 with its Philae comet probe. On Sept. 30, 2016, the Rosetta spacecraft successfully crash landed on the comet. This screenshot from ESA's broadcast of the Rosetta spacecraft's crash on Comet 67P shows the signal confirming the crash at 7:19 a.m. ET. on Sept. 30, 2016 at the Rosetta Mission Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Read our full story here.

Rosetta Spacecraft with Philae Lander on Comet Artist Impression

ESA–C. Carreau/ATG medialab

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft launched in 2004 on a 10-year mission to visit Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it makes its way through the inner solar system. The spacecraft is designed to orbit the comet and drop the Philae lander on the icy object to study the building blocks of our solar system. Rosetta was due to wake up from a 31-month hibernation on Jan. 20, 2014. See photos from the mission in this SPACE.com gallery.

This image: In August 2014, the ESA's Rosetta Spacecraft will rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and deploy its Philae lander, as seen in this artist's impression. [Read the Full Story Here.]

Rosetta's Final Photo

ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

The last image Rosetta transmitted to Earth before it touched Comet 67P's surface on Sept. 30, 2016. The European probe took the photo when it was just 65 feet (20 meters) from the icy body.

Rosetta's Crash Site

ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Rosetta captured this sequence of images during its descent to the surface of Comet 67P on Sept. 30.

Landing sites of Rosetta and Philae

ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Rosetta’s impact point shown in context with Philae’s first and final touchdown sites. All three sites are on the smaller of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s two lobes.

Rosetta Scientists Celebrate Crash Landing

ESA

Rosetta's mission control room in Darmstadt, Germany burst into cheer after receiving confirmation that the Rosetta spacecraft had successfully crash landed.

Hugs and Tears Followed the Cheers in Rosetta's Mission Control Center

ESA

When Rosetta's mission control center in Darmstadt, Germany received confirmation of Rosetta's successful crash landing, the room was filled with cheers and tears as colleagues hugged one another.

Crowd Cheers After Rosetta's Crash Landing

ESA

A crowd of scientists and guests watching Rosetta's crash landing from an auditorium at the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany goes wild with cheer at ESA's Rosetta mission completes its grand finale.

20 Hours to Crash Time

ESA

This photo was taken at ESA’s ESOC mission control center at 11:20 a.m. EDT (15:20 GMT) on Sept. 29, when there just 20 hours left in Rosetta’s flight operations.

Comet 67P from 3.6 miles (5.8 km)

ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera captured this image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 08:18 GMT from an altitude of about 3.6 miles (5.8 km) during the spacecraft’s final descent on Sept. 30.

Comet 67P from 5.5 miles (8.9 km)

ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera captured this image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 06:53 GMT from an altitude of about 5.5 miles (8.9 km)during the spacecraft’s final descent on Sept. 30.

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