ROSETTA Rosetta is an interplanetary spacecraft whose purpose is to investigate the comet known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It was discovered in 1969. This mission is named after the famous 'Rosetta Stone' found in the Nile Delta in 1799.For 1400 years no one knew how to read Egyptian hieroglyphs. Champollion deciphered them in 1882. Comets seem to be the oldest objects of the Solar System containing intact the material from which it was formed.Explore a comet is to find how was the solar system at its beginning. Just as Rosetta Stone provided the key to an ancient civilization, so Rosetta spacecraft will unlock the mysteries of the oldest elements of the solar system.As a successor of Champollion Rosetta will allow scientists to look back 4 600 million years. Rosetta is composed of an orbiter and a lander named Philae. Rosetta was launched on March 2nd 2004 by an Ariane 5 rocket The lander will be released onto the comet (or nucleus) in November 2014. Rosetta's industrial team involves 14 european countries and the United States
COMETS AND ROSETTA'S MAIN OBJECTIVE Comets are small bodies composed of rock, ice and dust. when a comet approaches the sun a small part of the nucleus evaporates forming a gas and dust tail. Rosetta task is to rendez-vous with the comet while it is still in the cold regions of the solar system. In November 2014 the lander will touch down on the surface of the nucleus and work for about ten days. Over an entire year, as the comet approaches the sun, Rosetta will orbit the comet studying changes in its activity. The mission ends in December 2015. Then both the spacecraft and the comet will be on their way out of the inner solar system.
ARE THE COMETS AT THE ORIGIN OF LIFE ON EARTH ? Researchers believe that there is a great quantity of complex organic molecules in the comets.The planets were bombarded by comets in their early existence. Scientists think there is an increasing evidence that the complex organic molecules necessary to the appearance of life may have been deposited on earth by comets. Will Rosetta mission answer the question ?