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Photos: Europe's Rosetta Comet Mission in Pictures

1 Day Before Crashing on Comet 67P

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

Rosetta's OSIRIS wide-angle camera image taken at 7:48 a.m. EDT (11:49 GMT) on Sept. 29, when the spacecraft was 14.2 miles (22.9 km) from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

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.

Rosetta's Impact on Comet 67P

ESA/ATG medialab

An artist's impression depicts ESA's Rosetta spacecraft shortly before hitting Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on Sept. 30, 2016.

Rosetta's Descent on Comet 67P

ESA/ATG medialab

Artist's impression of Rosetta's view during its descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on Sept. 30.

Rosetta's Descent on Comet 67P

ESA/ATG medialab

Artist's impression of Rosetta's view during its descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on Sept. 30.

Rosetta's Descent on Comet 67P

ESA/ATG medialab

Artist's impression of Rosetta's view during its descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on Sept. 30.

Rosetta's Descent on Comet 67P

ESA/ATG medialab

Artist's impression of Rosetta's view during its descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on Sept. 30.

Rosetta Finds Philae on Comet

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

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission made an historic landing on a comet on Nov. 12, 2014 with its Philae comet probe, but the lander itself went missing. Two years later, Rosetta finally found the Philae lander on Sept. 2, 2016 as seen in this image from Rosetta in orbit around the comet. See more photos of the Philae lander's rediscovery, as well as from the Rosetta mission overall, in our gallery here.

Philae's Resting Place

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

This annotated view shows how Philae finally ended up on the surface of Comet 67P.

Philae Found At Last

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

This image from Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera is the discovery image that finally spotted the Philae lander (which we've identified in a red circle at far right, near center). Rosetta was just 2.7 kilometers from Comet 67P to catch this view.

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