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Rosetta Mission
Investigating Comets (Clip)
Date: April 23, 2014
Running Time: 00:25:00

Join Exploratorium scientist Paul Doherty as he illuminates the most primitive objects—comets, icy leftovers from the formation of our solar system over 4.6 billion years ago. The chemical composition of comets has changed little since their formation and so they carry essential information about the origins of life on Earth. The European Space Agency’s comet-chasing spacecraft will be the first to undertake a lengthy, close-up exploration of a comet. Rosetta, which will orbit and then deploy a lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko this year, is helping scientists reconstruct the history of Earth and its neighbors in our solar system. After entering the comet’s orbit in November, and once a proper landing site is chosen, Rosetta will release its Philae lander onto the icy nucleus, where it will send photographs and other data back to scientists so they can undergo the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted.
Rosetta is a spacecraft en route to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where it will make the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted.

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