Published: August 15, 2014
Total Running Time: 00:49:00
Let Exploratorium Senior Scientist Paul Doherty be your guide to the Rosetta mission's approach to the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Images from the mission show the comet’s spin-axis orientation, angular velocity, major landmarks, and other basic characteristics. When Rosetta arrived within about 25 kilometers of the nucleus, the spacecraft joined the comet’s orbit and its speed slowed to a few centimeters per second. Once in orbit, the spacecraft mapped the nucleus in great detail to identify five potential landing sites for closer observation, an essential step in preparing for a successful landing in November 2014.