Mission Goals

Primary Mission Goals

  • Catch comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014 and accompany it into the interior solar system.
  • Observe the comet's nucleus and coma from close range.
  • Deploy Philae to make first controlled landing on a comet.
  • Measure the increase in cometary activity during perihelion (position closest to the Sun).
  • Observe the changes associated with the change in season as the comet leaves the inner solar system on its outbound leg. At that time a different pole will be exposed to the sun.

Other Goals En Route to Comet C-G

  • Assist in observation of Deep Impact Mission (Comet Tempel-1) (2005)
  • Observe Mars during Mars Gravity Assist maneuver (2007)
  • Observe two asteroids: Steins (2008) and Lutetia (2010)

Mission Name

Rosetta is named after the Rosetta Stone, an incomplete stela of black basalt incised with the same priestly decree in three scripts (Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Egyptian Demotic and Greek) concerning Ptolemy V. The great significance of the Stone is that it provided the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs. The Rosetta Space Mission seeks to see if comet C-G can provide a key to deciphering the origins of the solar system and/or life on Earth.