Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2015 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, Daniele L. Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Daniel Rouan, Tilman Spohn, Stéphane Tirard, Michel Viso

Rosetta Spacecraft

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44185-5_1387


The Rosetta mission is a Planetary Cornerstone Mission in the European Space Agency’s program Horizon 2000. It had a rendezvous in August 2014 with  comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko to study the chemical and physical properties of its nucleus and the development of its atmosphere as the comet approaches the Sun. Rosetta will follow the comet for about two years until its perihelion (August 2015) and beyond. Rosetta spacecraft was carrying an instrumented lander called Philae that has landed on the nucleus on November 12, 2014. On its way to the comet, Rosetta flew by asteroids 2867 Steins and 21 Lutetia.


Rosetta is the first mission whose goal was to landon a cometary nucleus and follow a comet during about 2 years. It was first conceived to explore comet 46P/Wirtanen, but because of a failure of an Ariane 5 rocket in December 2002, the mission was postponed and a new target had to be chosen: 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta was finally launched by an Ariane 5 G+...


Asteroid Comet ESA Lander Philae Spacecraft 
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References and Further Reading

  1. Altwegg K et al (2014) 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a Jupiter family comet with a high D/H ratio. Science. doi:10.1126/science.1261952. Published online 10 December 2014Google Scholar
  2. Balsiger H et al (2007) Rosina – Rosetta orbiter spectrometer for ion and neutral analysis. Space Sci Rev 128(1–4):745–801CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Coradini A et al (2007) Virtis: an imaging spectrometer for the Rosetta mission. Space Sci Rev 128(1–4):529–559CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Glassmeier K-H et al (2007) The ROSETTA mission: flying towards the origin of the Solar System. Space Sci Rev 128(1–4):1–21CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  5. Goesmann F et al (2007) Cosac, the cometary sampling and composition experiment on Philae. Space Sci Rev 128(1–4):257–280CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  6. Kissel J et al (2007) COSIMA, a high resolution time of flight spectrometer for secondary ion mass spectroscopy of cometary dust particles. Space Sci Rev 128(1–4):823–867CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  7. Mumma MJ, Charnley SB (2011) The chemical composition of comets–emerging taxonomies and natal heritage. Annu Rev Astron Astrophys 49:471–524CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes AtmosphériquesUniversité Paris Est-CréteilCréteilFrance