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A Great European Achievement ! Historic Comet Landing ! A Feat Never Before Accomplished !

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That’s another small step for an European mission, another giant leap for Mankind !

European Space Agency’s video (“Arrival” by Vangelis)

The first of a trio of music videos released by ESA to celebrate the first ever attempted soft landing on a comet by ESA’s Rosetta mission. Vangelis, the world-renowned musician, has composed this piece of music specially for ESA and inspired by the Rosetta mission. Vangelis’s music is often linked to themes of science, history and exploration, and he is best known for his Academy Award–winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, composing scores for the films Antarctica, Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest of Paradise and Alexander, and the use of his music in the documentary series Cosmos, by Carl Sagan.

Vangelis said: “Mythology, science and space exploration are subjects that have fascinated me since my early childhood. And they were always connected somehow with the music I write.”

Video copyright: ESA/Vangelis

Original music: Vangelis

Follow the Rosetta mission at: http://www.esa.int/rosetta

Rosetta launched in 2004 and arrived at Comet 67P on 6 August 2014. It is the first mission in history to rendezvous with a comet, escort it as it orbits the Sun, and deploy a lander to its surface. Rosetta is an ESA mission with contributions from its member states and NASA. Rosetta’s Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI. After 10 years, and a journey of more than six billion kilometres, the Rosetta spacecraft sent its Philae lander down to Comet 67P.

Today, Wednesday the 12th of November 2014, shortly after 1600 GMT, having travelled more than six billion kilometres, Philae successfully landed on comet 67P, which orbits the sun at speeds of up to 135,000km/h.

The European Space Agency’s mission control (ESOC, the European Space Operations Centre) is in Darmstadt, Germany.

The team in charge of the Rosetta mission had achieved what at times seemed an impossible task by landing a robotic spacecraft on a comet for the first time in history.

European Space Agency’s video “Philae’s journey” by Vangelis

 The second of a trio of music videos released by ESA to celebrate the first ever attempted soft landing on a comet by ESA’s Rosetta mission.

Vangelis, the world-renowned musician, has composed this piece of music specially for ESA and inspired by the Rosetta mission. Vangelis’s music is often linked to themes of science, history and exploration, and he is best known for his Academy Award–winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, composing scores for the films Antarctica, Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest of Paradise and Alexander, and the use of his music in the documentary series Cosmos, by Carl Sagan.

Vangelis said: “Mythology, science and space exploration are subjects that have fascinated me since my early childhood. And they were always connected somehow with the music I write.”

Video copyright: ESA/Vangelis
Original music: Vangelis

Follow the Rosetta mission at: http://www.esa.int/rosetta

In November 1993, the International Rosetta Mission was approved as a Cornerstone Mission in ESA’s Horizons 2000 Science Programme.

The adventure began March 2004, when a European Ariane 5 rocket lifted off from Kourou in French Guiana (South America). During a circuitous ten-year trek across the Solar System, Rosetta crossed the asteroid belt and travelled into deep space, more than five times Earth’s distance from the Sun. Its destination is a periodic comet known as Comet 67P.

The Rosetta orbiter had rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and remained in close proximity to the icy nucleus as it plunges towards the warmer inner reaches of the Sun’s domain. At the same time, a small lander was released onto the surface of this mysterious cosmic iceberg.

More than a year will pass before the remarkable mission draws to a close in December 2015. By then, both the spacecraft and the comet will have circled the Sun and be on their way out of the inner Solar System.

A remarkable success for the European Space Agency, which launched the Rosetta spacecraft more than 10 years ago from its Kourou spaceport in French Guiana (South America). Since blasting off in March 2004, Rosetta and its lander Philae have travelled more than six billion kilometres to catch up with the comet which orbits the sun at speeds up to 135,000km/h.

 This is the first spacecraft ever to land on the surface of a speeding comet – a huge landmark in the history of space exploration. Because comets are remnants from the formation of the solar system it is hoped that it will unlock further clues about the origins of our solar system and the development of life on Earth.

The Rosetta mission is planned to run until December 2015, but if enough fuel remains in the spacecraft’s tanks, mission controllers may extend its life by six months and give the mother ship more high-risk tasks, such as flying through one of the gas and dust jets streaming from the comet. Philae has initial battery power to last 40 hours but will then switch to rechargeable ones replenished by sunlight.

 The lander could continue working until March next year, when the electronics will become too warm to work properly. Even when Philae packs up, it may still cling on to the comet, perhaps for several 6.45-year-long laps around the sun, before enough material erodes from the comet’s surface for the lander to lose its grip.

European Space Agency’s video :  “Rosetta’s waltz” by Vangelis 

The third of a trio of music videos released by ESA to celebrate the first ever attempted soft landing on a comet by ESA’s Rosetta mission. Vangelis, the world-renowned musician, has composed this piece of music specially for ESA and inspired by the Rosetta mission. Vangelis’s music is often linked to themes of science, history and exploration, and he is best known for his Academy Award–winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, composing scores for the films Antarctica, Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest of Paradise and Alexander, and the use of his music in the documentary series Cosmos, by Carl Sagan. Vangelis said: “Mythology, science and space exploration are subjects that have fascinated me since my early childhood. And they were always connected somehow with the music I write.”

Video copyright: ESA/Vangelis

Original music: Vangelis

Follow the Rosetta mission at: http://www.esa.int/rosetta

Historic Mission

The Rosetta mission will achieve many historic firsts.

Rosetta is the first spacecraft to orbit a comet’s nucleus.

It’s the first spacecraft to fly alongside a comet as it heads towards the inner Solar System.

Rosetta will be the first spacecraft to examine from close proximity how a frozen comet is transformed by the warmth of the Sun.

Shortly after its arrival at Comet 67P, the Rosetta orbiter despatched a robotic lander for the first controlled touchdown on a comet nucleus.

The Rosetta lander’s instruments will obtain the first images from a comet’s surface and make the first in situ analysis to find out what it is made of.

On its way to Comet 67P, Rosetta will pass through the main asteroid belt, with the option to be the first European close encounter with one or more of these primitive objects.

Rosetta will be the first spacecraft ever to fly close to Jupiter’s orbit using solar cells as its main power source.

Scientists will be eagerly waiting to compare Rosetta’s results with previous studies by ESA’s Giotto spacecraft and by ground-based observatories. These have shown that comets contain complex organic molecules – compounds that are rich in carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen.

Intriguingly, these are the elements which make up nucleic acids and amino acids, the essential ingredients for life as we know it. Did life on Earth begin with the help of comet seeding? Rosetta may help us to find the answer to this fundamental question.

Why Rosetta ?

The European Space Agency’s unprecedented mission of cometary exploration is named after the famous ‘Rosetta Stone’. This slab of volcanic basalt – now in the British Museum in London – was the key to unravelling the civilisation of ancient Egypt. French soldiers discovered the unique Stone in 1799, as they prepared to demolish a wall near the village of Rashid (Rosetta) in Egypt’s Nile delta. The carved inscriptions on the Stone included hieroglyphics – the written language of ancient Egypt – and Greek, which was readily understood. After the French surrender in 1801, the 762-kilogram stone was handed over to the British. By comparing the inscriptions on the stone, historians were able to begin deciphering the mysterious carved figures. Most of the pioneering work was carried out by the the French scholar Jean François Champollion and the English physician and physicist Thomas Young. As a result of their breakthroughs, scholars were at last able to piece together the history of a long-lost culture.

Just as the Rosetta Stone provided the key to an ancient civilisation, so ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft will unlock the mysteries of the oldest building blocks of our Solar System – the comets. As the worthy successor of Champollion and Young, Rosetta will allow scientists to look back 4600 million years to an epoch when no planets existed and only a vast swarm of asteroids and comets surrounded the Sun.

© European Space Agency

http://sci.esa.int/where_is_rosetta/

http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/11/12/touchdown-confirmed-for-philae-at-1703-cet/

http://rosetta.esa.int/

 

The European Space Agency (ESA) (French: Agence spatiale européenne – ASE) is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, with 20 member states. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, France, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000 with an annual budget of about €4.28 billion / US$5.51 billion (2013).

ESA’s space flight programme includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station programme, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle.

 ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is known as Europe’s organisation to promote and develop space activities. By drawing up a long term plan for space and seeing it through, the agency shapes the future of space development in Europe. It ensures Europe’s space capabilities continue to grow, bringing benefits to the citizen’s of Europe.

The agency’s activities have many goals – on the one hand, to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, the Solar System and the Universe; and, on the other, to develop satellite-based technologies and services, as well as to promote European space industries. It does not do all this alone, however, working closely with space organisations all over the world.

ESA now has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Canada also sits on the Council and takes part in some projects under a Cooperation Agreement. Hungary, Estonia and Slovenia are participating in the Plan for European Cooperating States (PECS), while other countries are in negotiation with ESA about joining this initiative.

Hungary, Romania and Poland are ‘European Cooperating States’. And, Estonia and Slovenia recently signed cooperation agreements with ESA. Canada also takes part in some projects under a cooperation agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA headquarters in Paris © ESA/A. Gonin

Space policies and programmes are decided on at ESA’s headquarters in Paris.

The agency also has sites across Europe dealing with different aspects of space policy:

  • EAC, the European Astronauts Centre in Cologne, Germany
  • ESAC, the European Space Astronomy Centre, in Villafranca del Castillo, Madrid, Spain
  • ESOC, the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany
  • ESRIN, the ESA centre for Earth Observation, in Frascati, near Rome, Italy
  • ESTEC, the European Space Research and Technology Centre, Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

There are also liaison offices in Belgium, the USA and Russia, as well as a launch base in French Guiana and ground/tracking stations in various parts of the world.

http://www.esa.int/ESA

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