, Volume 128, Issue 1-4, pp 1-21
Date: 26 Jan 2007

The Rosetta Mission: Flying Towards the Origin of the Solar System

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The ROSETTA Mission, the Planetary Cornerstone Mission in the European Space Agency’s long-term programme Horizon 2000, will rendezvous in 2014 with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko close to its aphelion and will study the physical and chemical properties of the nucleus, the evolution of the coma during the comet’s approach to the Sun, and the development of the interaction region of the solar wind and the comet, for more than one year until it reaches perihelion. In addition to the investigations performed by the scientific instruments on board the orbiter, the ROSETTA lander PHILAE will be deployed onto the surface of the nucleus. On its way to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, ROSETTA will fly by and study the two asteroids 2867 Steins and 21 Lutetia.