Shop Windows to the Universe

Learn about planets outside our solar system through Exoplanets and Alien Solar Systems by Tahir Yaqoob, Ph.D., a book in our online store book collection.

Rosetta spacecraft gets ready for launch
News story originally written on January 15, 2004

The Rosetta space mission will be launched in February 2004. Rosetta will travel to a comet and study it. Part of the spacecraft will actually land on the comet. It will be the first spacecraft to do that.

Rosetta was supposed to start its mission about one year ago in January 2003. Unfortunately, there were some problems with the rocket Rosetta was supposed to be launched on, so the mission had to be delayed. While engineers were fixing the rocket, the comet that Rosetta was supposed to visit moved out of range. Scientists had to pick a new comet for Rosetta to visit.

Rosetta will be going to a comet named Churyumov-Gerasimenko. That comet is bigger than the comet Rosetta was originally supposed to visit. Engineers had to make some changes to the legs of the Rosetta lander so it can land safely on the new, larger comet, which has more gravity than the old comet.

Rosetta will take a long time to get to the comet. Rosetta will blast off on February 26, 2004, but it won't get to the comet until the year 2014. Rosetta will fly by Mars and an asteroid on the way to the comet. Let's hope that Rosetta has a safe journey!

Last modified January 14, 2004 by Randy Russell.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

Windows to the Universe Community



You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Rosetta Mission Update

The Rosetta Mission was suppose to launch in January 2003. Unfortunately, the launch had to be delayed! The Rosetta spacecraft was suppose to be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket. A month ago, another Ariane...more

Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was discovered in 1969 by Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko. The comet orbits the Sun once every 6.57 years. Its orbit brings it closer to the Sun than Mars at the...more

Rosetta Flyby of Asteroid Lutetia

Rosetta is a European space probe. It was launched in 2004. Its main mission is to fly to a comet and land on it. Along the way it has flown by two asteroids. In July 2010 it flew by an asteroid named...more

A Rover on the Red Planet! Spirit Will Look at the Geology of Mars

NASA’s rover, named Spirit, has successfully landed and will soon be scouting the surface of Mars for interesting geology! Scientists are interested to know whether the depression where Spirit landed...more

Hubble Servicing Mission Canceled

NASA announced in January 2004 that it would cancel the last planned mission to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The head of NASA, Sean O'Keefe, believes a mission to Hubble would be too dangerous for...more

Cassini approaches Saturn's Moon Phoebe

The Cassini spacecraft is on its way to Saturn. It will zoom close past a strange moon of Saturn named Phoebe. Cassini's close flyby of Phoebe will be on June 11, 2004. The best pictures we have right...more

Huygens probe on its way to Titan

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is in orbit around the planet Saturn. Cassini carried a landing probe, named Huygens, with it on its long journey from Earth. On December 24, 2004, Cassini released the Huygens...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF