Rosetta’s epic comet encounter was the first spacecraft ever to orbit a comet. It launched March 2004, visited two other asteroids along the way and finally arrived at the object named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after ten years of space travel. It landed on the surface of the comet in 2016 and has been there ever since.
Where is Rosetta now? Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko?Space in 3D Web App
67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is currently 451,000,000 (281,000,000) from the sun, and 451,000,000 (281,000,000)from us. When it zipped past the sun at it’s closest distance it had a speed of 23,111 km/h (14,361 mph). As it is swinging back out toward Jupiter it slowed down and being farther from the sun it’s solar panels struggled to keep up with the power demands of the space probe.
Since last night 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is 531,068 km (331,917 mi) closer to us. Since you started looking at this page it is 0 km (0 mi) closer.
Scientists decided to crash land the probe on the surface of the comet, and gather scientific data in the process. The last photo was taken about 20 metres prior to the hard landing on the surface of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
The spacecraft Rosetta carried a lander with it called Philae. This failed to land successfully on the comet and ended up on it’s side, meaning the solar panels were not facing the sun. Effectively this meant the spacecraft was lost although about two days of science were conducted until the battery ran out.
The size of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is 123 m (456 ft).
On it’s way to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko , Rosetta flew by asteroid 2867 Steins and asteroid 21 Lutetia.
Photo Credit and other: NASA, ESO/S. Brunier, NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI, NASA/JPL-Caltech, UH/IA