An artists impression of space probe Rosetta rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
The space probe launched by The European Space Agency or ESA has sent its first transmission back to earth after 3 years of hibernation from over 800 million kilometers away. The probe named Rosetta sent its first signal to the ESA this morning, with the ESA saying they received Rosetta’s “Hello World” signal loud and clear. The probe was launched in 2004, but was put in hibernation mode in 2011 to save energy for the over 7 billion kilometer trek around the inner Solar System before it will rendezvous with the comet named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Space shuttle carrying the 3 tonne Rosetta blasting off from Kourou, French Guiana
Now that the probe is out of hibernation and if all goes to plan Rosetta will meet up with the comet in the next 10 of months. Once close enough to the comet Rosetta will drop a lunar probe to the comet’s surface to study and carry out experiments on the icy surface of the comet. Depending on whether you believe the creation of the universe happened with the “Big Bang”, comets are seen by those who do as being remnants of the birth of our star system and left overs from the “Big Bang”. Scientists hope that the information the lunar probe finds on the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko will help unlock the secrets of how our solar system was created and what was the secret to kick-starting life on earth.
Artists impression of Rosetta’s lunar lander probe
Scientists from the ESA said that the reason Rosetta was placed in hibernation was because on its travels to rendezvous with 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko “it was so far from the sun that the light was too dim to power its solar array, so it was shut down to conserve energy”. With Rosetta being so far away scientists at the ESA had to wait over 8 hours for the signal to reach earth, with the transmission travelling over 800 million kilometers just to reach us. A press statement released by the ESA summed up the feelings of all those involved with the project “It was a fairy-tale ending to a tense chapter”.
An artists impression of Rosetta flying past Mars
Who knows what kind of data this expedition will uncover using this high-tech lunar probe, we’ll keep you updated on more information regarding Rosetta and it’s mission to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko when it becomes available.
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