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Sunday 21 September 2014

Rosetta probe reaches target comet

Published 06/08/2014 | 11:00

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An artist's impression of Rosetta approaching comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (AP/Handout)

Comet-chasing space probe Rosetta has reached its destination after a journey lasting more than a decade.

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Scientists and spectators at the European Space Agency's (ESA) mission control in Darmstadt, Germany, cheered today after the spacecraft successfully completed its final thrust to swing alongside comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

ESA chief Jean-Jacques Dordain said the probe's rendezvous with 67P is an important milestone in Rosetta's life.

The goal of the mission is to orbit 67P from a distance of about 60 miles and observe the giant ball of dust and ice as it hurtles toward the sun.

If all goes according to plan, Rosetta will drop the first ever lander onto a comet in November.

Scientists hope this will help them learn more about the origins of comets, stars and planets.

Press Association

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