Rosetta spacecraft is closing in on comet 67P/C-G

The Rosetta spacecraft is closing in on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and is slated to enter into orbit around the comet in August.

C. Carreau/ESA

ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft is on track to pull up and park next to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) in 49 days.

Rosetta did its last big thruster burn on June 18 to continue to fine-tune its orbit around the comet. The spacecraft still has another 194,000 kilometers to go, but so far, the complex maneuvers to stalk the comet have gone without a hitch. Some of the spacecraft’s instruments have also begun to send data back to Earth, giving scientists a chance to gear up for Rosetta’s arrival at comet 67P/C-G in August.

If the mission continues as planned, Rosetta will become the first spacecraft to ride along side and land a probe on the core of a comet.

Ashley Yeager is the associate news editor at Science News. She has worked at The Scientist, the Simons Foundation, Duke University and the W.M. Keck Observatory, and was the web producer for Science News from 2013 to 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.

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