A Comet Crash Landing for the Ages

Space probe Rosetta makes final journey onto comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2016 6:35 AM CDT
3-2-1—Crash! Rosetta Lands on Comet
This artist impression provided by ESA shows Rosetta cometary probe.   (J. Huart/ESA via AP)

It took the Rosetta a decade to catch up with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and on Friday, the space probe was sent to crash-land on the comet, ending its 12-year mission and giving European Space Agency scientists "emotional closure," the Guardian reports. "Rosetta has been comparable to the moon landing," ESA's spacecraft operations manager tells the paper. "As a child, I could only have dreamt something like this."

Viewers were able to watch the end of the journey live as the probe hurtled through space to its final resting spot on 67P, with final confirmation of loss of signal coming in at 11:20am GMT (7:20am EDT). Jan Woerner, the agency's director general, tweeted, "Thank you @ESA_Rosetta, well done! #CometLanding." (The AP has a timeline of Rosetta's momentous journey since it embarked in 2004.)

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