DARMSTADT, Germany — After a journey of 4 billion miles, Europe’s unmanned Rosetta probe reached its destination Wednesday, a milestone in mankind’s first attempt to land a spacecraft on a comet.
The decade-long trip was successfully completed with a seven-minute thrust that allowed Rosetta to swing alongside comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko somewhere between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
The goal of the mission is to orbit 67P at a distance of 60 miles and observe the comet as it hurtles toward the sun. If all goes according to plan, Rosetta will attempt the unprecedented feat of dropping a lander onto a comet in November.
Read Thursday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more.