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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

Rosetta in the Rearview: What Have We Learned?

Just over a month ago the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft finished its mission by spectacularly diving into the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. How did it observations influence and alter our ideas about the typical formation and lifetime of a comet?

Rosetta is gone

Today there is one less spacecraft returning science data from beyond Earth. The European Space Operations Centre received the final transmission from Rosetta at 11:19 September 30, UT.

Rosetta spacecraft may be dying, but Rosetta science will go on

The Rosetta mission will end tomorrow when the spacecraft impacts the comet. ESA took advantage of the presence of hundreds of members of the media to put on a showcase of Rosetta science. If there’s one thing I learned today from all the science presentations, it’s this: Rosetta data will be informing scientific work for decades to come.

Rosetta end-of-mission update

The European Space Agency has shared plans for the end of the Rosetta mission scheduled for September 30, just three weeks from now. The landing site will be located on the

Philae spotted on the surface of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Ever since its landing, Philae has been elusive. It went silent just three days later and never returned any more science data, though it made brief contact with the orbiter last summer. Now, just a month until the planned end of the Rosetta mission, the orbiter has finally located the lander in a stunning high-resolution view of the surface.

Rosetta end-of-mission plans: Landing site, time selected

ESA's comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft is nearing the end of its mission. Last week, ESA announced when and where Rosetta is going to touch down. And tomorrow, it will forever shut down the radio system intended for communicating with the silent Philae lander.

A feast of new OSIRIS photos from comet 67P

Last week, the Rosetta mission released a large quantity of science data to the worldwide public, including photos from the mission's close observation phase and the Philae landing.

Opposition surge comet

Today, the Rosetta OSIRIS team's Image of the Day is this highly unusual view of the comet with the Sun very nearly behind the spacecraft.

A Rosetta OSIRIS picture of comet 67P that's only hours old

ESA announced today a new website at which the OSIRIS team will now be releasing images on a regular basis -- at least one per week -- and they will be recent. Even better news, all OSIRIS data taken through September 16, 2014 has been handed to ESA and its release is expected next week.

ESA mission updates

There have been several important pieces of news about European missions in the last month: Rosetta's fate has been determined; ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's launch is slightly delayed; and they have selected a landing site for the ExoMars rover.

Aluminum Shapemodel of Comet 67P

Mattias Malmer describes his MacGyver-esque process in creating a homemade aluminum version of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

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