Rendezvous with a Comet
The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft will unlock the mysteries of the oldest building blocks of our Solar System – the comets. Rosetta will allow scientists to look back 4600 million years to an epoch when no planets existed and only a vast swarm of asteroids and comets surrounded the Sun.
Rosetta will also help to discover whether comets contributed to the beginnings of life on Earth. Comets are carriers of complex organic molecules, delivered to Earth through impacts, and perhaps played a role in the origin of life. Moreover, volatile light elements carried by comets may also have played an important role in forming Earth's oceans and atmosphere.
The Rosetta mission will achieve many historic landmarks:
Artist's concept of Rosetta and Philae at comet.