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Rosetta achieves rendezvous with comet
Posted: Wed, Aug 6, 2014, 9:47 AM ET (1347 GMT)
Rosetta image of comet 67P in August 2014 (ESA) ESA's Rosetta spacecraft arrived at its destination on Tuesday, a comet the spacecraft has been chasing for a decade. Rosetta fired its thrusters for six and a half minutes starting at 5:00 am EDT (0900 GMT), allowing the spacecraft to match orbits with comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Rosetta is 100 kilometers from the comet nucleus, and will gradually move closer in the coming weeks. In November, Rosetta will deploy a small lander, named Philae, to touch down on the surface of the comet's nucleus. ESA launched Rosetta in 2004, taking a circuitous trajectory in order to efficiently match orbits with the comet. Rosetta will continue studies of the comet for at least a year, as the comet passes perihelion in its orbit around the Sun.
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