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Rosetta Illustrates the Miracles of Space Science

ZME Science
November 19, 2014
Written by Dave Syndergaard, faculty member, School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at American Public University

Miraculous.
That’s the first word that comes to my mind when I think about the European Space Agency (ESA) mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gersimenko. The Rosetta spacecraft and its lander, Philae, recently reached 67P after a 10-year round-trip journey of four billion miles.

Here’s where the “miracles” come in: Miracle number one: Mission planners had to calculate a circuitous journey for Rosetta that included four fly-by’s of major planets, which increased its speed enough to reach the comet. Think of a 10-year, four billion mile journey that included zipping past planets and asteroids and culminated in getting close enough to the four-mile- wide comet to go into orbit around it and drop a lander on its surface.

Read the entire article at ZME Science.

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