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How To Hack A Spacecraft To Die Gracefully

Last week, the Rosetta spacecraft crashed into comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after orbiting it since 2014. It was supposed to do that: the mission was at an end, and the mission designers wanted to end it by getting a close look at the surface of the comet. But this raises an interesting problem: how do you get a device that is designed to never stop to actually stop? A spacecraft like Rosetta is built from the ground up to keep going, to reboot and go into a backup mode, phone home and wait for instructions if it encounters a problem.
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ESA has announced the date upon which mission operators will crash the Rosetta spacecraft into the surface of the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Unlike its now-sleeping companion, the Philae lander, there is no hope that once the ...

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The Rosetta spacecraft has spent three years peering at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from orbit—but this week, its watch will end. Tomorrow, Rosetta begins a controlled descent to its final resting place on the edge of an enormou...

The ESA Rosetta Mission Successfully Lands the Philae Spacecraft on the Surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

Humor : Laughing Squid

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Rosetta prepares for a close encounter with Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

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ESA's Rosetta orbiter is preparing to make a daring 6 km (3.7 miles) pass of one of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko's most active regions – an area on the comet's larger lobe designated as Imhotep. As the comet moves closer to the S...

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