In Images: Rosetta Spacecraft's Last Comet Photos During Crash-Landing

Rosetta's Descent on Comet 67P
Artist's impression of Rosetta's view during its descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on Sept. 30. (Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab)

Rosetta Spacecraft Crash Lands on a Comet


The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft crash-landed on its target Comet 67P, shown in this artist's illustration, on Sept. 30, 2016, ending a historic 12-year mission to explore and land on a comet. Read our full story on Rosetta's crash landing here.

Last Photo From Rosetta


Rosetta took this final photo of Comet 67P just before it softly crashed onto the comet's surface on Sept. 30.

Rosetta's Crash Site


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

Rosetta Crash Signal Confirmation


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 Scientists Celebrate Crash Landing


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


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


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


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 Joins Philae Lander


Rosetta’s crash site is not too far from Philae’s first and final touchdown sites after its bumpy landing in 2014. All three sites are on the smaller of Comet 67P’s two lobes.

Comet 67P from 0.75 miles (1.2 km)


Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera captured this image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 10:14 GMT from an altitude of about 0.75 miles (1.2 km) during the spacecraft’s final descent on Sept. 30.

1 Day Before Crashing on Comet 67P


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.

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Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.