The Rosetta-Philae spacecraft that visited 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was perhaps ESA’s most ambitious mission.
NASA isn’t the only one that has performed breath-taking missions to other worlds, and personally, the Rosetta mission is ESA’s answer that really holds its own against some of the impressive stuff NASA has done.
This mission allowed us to see a comet up close for the first time, a visitor that originally came from the Kuiper belt, or the distant belt of comets and asteroids beyond the orbit of Neptune. It was also a ground-breaking mission in that it was able to land a probe on the surface, and directly interact with the materials found on the comet.
Its discoveries were vast and impressive, and gave us an insight into the far reaches of our solar system, how it formed, and most importantly: did comets once contribute to life on Earth?
However, not everything went according to plan with this mission.Philae, the lander part of the mission, was expected to perform scientific experiments on the surface of the comet for 5 months, but it didn’t manage anywhere near that, so what went wrong?
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