After covering a distance of 6 billion km in space over 12 years, European scientists have decided to shut down Rosetta.
The famous Rosetta mission which was launched 12 years ago in a bid to chase a comet is about to come to an end. The team of European scientists behind the landmark space exploration mission is going to shut it down.
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In its term the Rosetta covered a distance of over 6 billion kilometers in space travel. The Rosetta also generated huge amounts of valuable data along with pictures which captured the fascination of the world. The data has been helping scientists to better understand how the earth and surrounding planets were formed.
In a poetic turn of events the Rosetta will end its journey by crash landing on the very comet which it has been chasing for the last 12 years. The European Space Agency will officially shut down Rosetta at the end of this month, according to Reuters.
The Rosetta was also the very first space mission to have ventured beyond the main asteroid belt in the Milky Way. Another major feat was the fact that Rosetta will be entirely powered by solar cells.
However like all good things Rosetta’s adventure is also ending. According to the European Space Agency, Rosetta is now at a point where its distance from the sun is becoming too weak. In other words Rosetta will no longer be able to power itself with sunrays as the distance will be too great.
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Furthermore the distance will also make downloading data from Rosetta on the earth base near impossible. Therefore Rosetta will descend on the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on the 30th of September, 2016. After taking close up pictures of the comet one last time, Rosetta will finally be put to rest forever.