The Rosetta Odyssey

Since leaving Earth in 2004, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has travelled 3 billion kilometres - a third of its journey towards Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko - and has swung by Earth twice and Mars once, each time picking up a gravity assist to accelerate towards the target.

Before each manoeuvre, the mission control team at ESA's Space Operations Centre simulates all aspects of the upcoming operation and practices identifying and solving problems that could arise. The multinational team must work as one to react immediately and effectively.

Once at its target comet in 2014, Rosetta’s lander, Philae, will touch down and study the comet’s surface composition and drill into the icy nucleus to collect and analyse samples, including complex organic material that may have contributed to the formation of life on Earth.


  • ESA
Download Video