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The Rosetta Mission

The Rosetta mission is a joint ESA-NASA mission approved by ESA in 1993. The mission goal was initially set for a rendezvous with comet 46 P/Wirtanen. After postponement of the initial launch (January 2003) a new target was selected: Comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The Rosetta spacecraft was launched on March 2, 2004 aboard an Ariane 5 G+ rocket. The trip to Comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko will take ten years and include two asteroid flybys: Steins (5 September 2008) and Lutetia (10 July 2010). Physical properties of the asteroids can be found here for Steins and here for Lutetia.

Once the Rosetta reaches 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, the spacecraft will fly along with the comet for over a year, collecting data and landing a small probe on the surface of the comet. Rosetta will measure the comet's maximum activity during and after its perihelion passage in July 2015.

More about the Rosetta mission can be found at the ) Eurpoean Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta web site and the NASA Rosetta web site.