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.

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