After 12 Years, The Rosetta Mission Has Come To An End

The Rosetta Mission Space

You don’t have to be a science nerd to understand the significance of the Rosetta Mission. However, if you’re not a science buff, here’s what went down. Scientist, evolutionary biologist and frequent TV science commentator Dr. Dan Riskin, hosted the event Death On A Comet: The Rosetta Mission. This captured the extraordinary event, providing a conclusion to the remarkable twelve year journey – not only to understand how comets work, but also to investigate how comets could have played a crucial role in the evolution of life on Earth. Yes, you read that correctly — 12 years. Talk about a really long time to focus on a project! To say the least, this final chapter captured the emotion of this journey’s end as Rosetta gathered the last bit of science from the comet and beamed it back to Earth before its mission-ending crash.

Death On A Comet: The Rosetta Mission is a follow up to the popular 2014 special Landing on a Comet: The Rosetta Mission in which the Rosetta spacecraft first encountered the comet.So it was a long time coming, but trust us, it was so worth the long wait it took. Recently, this remarkable story was brought back in the spotlight when the Philae space probe went back online after losing contact with the Rosetta mother ship for two years following it’s landing on the far away comet.

To put it in perspective for you, there was a lot to be learned in this two year long mission, and here’s some of the learnings that Rosetta uncovered in its two-year investigation, including:

  • Photographs of the comet, up close and personal
  • What comets smell like (rotten eggs and marzipan)
  • The deep science on how comets form in the outer reaches of the solar system
  • The finding of other-worldly, “heavy” water on Comet 67P’s surface
  • The composition of this comet’s atmosphere
  • What causes the dramatic comet tails to form
  • The sizable discovery of organic molecules on the comet, which many scientists believe could be the ultimate cause of how life evolved here on Earth

Now, scientists have decided that the mission will come to an end with a bang. Well, technically, with a crash. The probe crashed itself into the 4km-wide ball of ice and dust on September 30, and the world watched as it finally ended. You can see in the video below how momentous this occasion was to all involved. Not only significant career wise, but personally touching for many who involved in the journey over the last decade.

“This is the end of an incredible mission in space travel. The Rosetta Mission has been a 12 year mission… It has been a hugely successful mission. The most successful mission ever by the Eeuropean space agency, which is the European mission to NASA,” Dr. Riskin told Quirky Daily.

This mission taught the world a lot about comets, which was the ultimate goal of the project. For more information, and to watch Death On A Comet: The Rosetta Mission, go to sciencechannel.com.

Feature Image: Sweetie187

Vannessa Jackson
Vannessa is a contributing writer for Quirky Daily. She is a lover of all things entertainment, especially anything comedic. She has dreams of becoming Mindy Kaling, but until then, she's enjoying pursuing her dreams in the beautiful city of angels. You can follow her on twitter NNessleigh or check out her other articles on clippings.me/vjackson.