The European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe is poised to make history for the third time during its 10-year mission on Wednesday.
It has already done what many thought impossible; first rendezvous with a comet, and then establish an orbit around it. Now comes the hardest part, landing on the rock named after its co-discoverer.
“Now everyone is talking about this comet, because it’s a very great event in our history. And finally we can see its shape,” said Ukrainian astronomer Klim Churyumov. “Of course, when our comet was chosen for this mission, it was wonderful news. We were very happy and jumped for joy!”
Just getting to the comet seemed highly ambitious when Rosetta launched, and now ESA’s exploit is bringing us closer to understanding some of the theories about life in space and on Earth, as comets hold some of the universe’s oldest matter and may have “seeded” Earth with life aeons ago.