A 3D Simulation of the Rosetta Space Probe’s Historic Journey Around Comet 67P

The European Space Agency has rendered the Rosetta space probe‘s historic journey around comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in a 3D simulation that highlights important moments in the trip. Rosetta successfully orbited the comet and launched the Philae lander on November 12, 2014, the first human-made object successfully soft-landed on the surface of a comet.

The animation begins on 31 July 2014, during Rosetta’s final approach to the comet after its ten-year journey through space. The spacecraft arrived at a distance of 100 km on 6 August, from where it gradually approached the comet and entered initial mapping orbits that were needed to select a landing site for Philae. These observations also enabled the first comet science of the mission.The manoeuvres in the lead up to, during and after Philae’s release on 12 November are seen, before Rosetta settled into longer-term science orbits.