Farewell, Rosetta!

Shortly after parting from Rosetta, the lander Philae took a shot of its mothership:


Philae’s parting image of Rosetta, taken shortly after separation. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

The image was taken with the lander’s CIVA-P imaging system and captures one of Rosetta’s 14 metre-long solar arrays. It was stored onboard the lander until the radio link was established with Rosetta around two hours after separation, and then relayed to Earth.

The lander separated from the orbiter at 09:03 GMT/10:03 CET and is expected to touch down on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko seven hours later. Confirmation of a successful touchdown is expected in a one-hour window centred on 16:02 GMT / 17:02 CET.

Follow the landing event live: esa.int/rosetta



  • jim says:

    Amazing. Yesterday we were remembering a very different Europe of a century ago. Today we are looking to the future, together.

    • Bilal says:

      Inspiring Words.. Thanks for sharing

    • Martin Riedl says:

      Today we are opening a new site in the history book of science an not far away some people are establishing a Kalifat.

  • Dave Ross says:

    I ahve photos of the surface of mars as my desktop, but this image ranks with them easily. Amazing photo.

  • Dave Ross says:

    I have photos of the surface of mars as my desktop, but this image ranks with them easily. Amazing photo.

  • Dave Ross says:

    I have photos taken on the surface of mars on my desktop but this image ranks alongside them easiy.Amazing photo and I hope for more once the landing has taken place.

  • Juan Simón says:

    Aunque no se ve casi nada, es una imagen impresionante y emocionante. Es increíble poder seguir este acontecimiento histórico tan de cerca!! Felicitaciones ESA!!

  • yoruneko says:

    Is that an RCS plume in the center or just a lens flare?

  • Debbie says:

    Because of this 1st step we may learn to prevent any future mass extinctions from meteors, assuming we don’t destroy our planet first with global warming. Just a happy thought

    • Vince Williams says:

      or the landing impact doesnt send the comet off on another trajectory, even a slight force is enough to change orbits of asteroids as the Yarkovsky effect has proven

  • niyazi dündar says:

    Bu projede tüm emeği geçenlerin hepsini tebrik ve teşekkür ediyorum.



  • A wonderful testament to human ingenuity, and to the great things we can do as partners in exploration.

  • thosch says:

    unrelated to that wonderful photo…. can anyone please tell me what kind of Operating System the computers at ESA Control Centre are running?
    the GUI kind of looks like CDE so i would guess its some UNIX. I also spotted a Sun Type 5c Keyboard on the livestream. So, is it Solaris 9?

  • Carlos Fulleringer says:

    Es un evento maravilloso, gracias por compartir estos momentos.

  • MikeO says:

    Another giant step for mankind!

  • Way to go says:

    Speeches, speeches, speeches … I want data, pictures. science. Remember the coverage about Curiosity landing on Mars? That’s how it has to be made.

    • Teodoro Harrsch says:

      Take it easy cowboy, this is not hollywood. Every mission is different and this one shows us how joint human effort can provide for future mankind progress. Hail Clarke, Asimov, Verne, Orwell, Sagan, Bradbury, Wells, Flammarion, S Jobs, G Lucas, Roddenberry, et al. Thank you all !!

      • Way to go says:

        I am not a cowboy. I am from Germany and I thought this event is about the actual landing of a spacecraft.
        Have an hour until landing no comment, no explaining graphics what is just happining, no screens of incoming datas, even no sound matching the live pictures!
        Then, out of the blue, just a short confirmation that the landing has taken place, and even that short announcement was wrong — no mentioning of possible problems what so ever.
        And then endless speeches of politicans, directors and what not, of how great the EU and ESA is, thank you this and thank you that … now champagne for the messieurs.
        I was waiting for this event for month. Congrats to the people who made this landing happen.
        But for the coverage: Look how it was done for Curiosity.
        Sorry, but even the moon landing — almost half a century ago — had WAY better live coverage than the landing of Philae.
        None the less, great technical achievement today!

  • Rafael J. says:

    Pendiente y a la espera de un exitoso cometaje (o, ¿aterrizaje?).

  • Cometstalker says:

    Its a bit hard to get things published theres a bug somewhere

    To read the mimic prior to landing told a lot and later it was confirmed that the lander after all settled just fine although the thruster and harpoons failed. A bit frustration was to have to listen to politicians as to me the only information of interest is the technical branch, still a very nice solar system event. Congratulation to all teams and im looking forward to hear that the eventual glitches have been taken care of

  • Hugh B, Edinburgh says:

    If the lander is stable, don’t try to refire the harpoons, as this may destabilise it.
    It may already be embedded into the surface, and you don’t want any forces which might break that bond.

    • Cometstalker says:

      For sure the mechanical properties of the surface are now known to some extent and with this knowledge its confident to make a decision to fire or not as when the decision to fire is done the harpoons will anchor for sure and this is worthwhile to do. If the risk is to high then thats fine but some experiments must be canceled i suppose.
      The screws might have failed as well and the Philae might be settled to its chin also affecting some experiments. I hope ESA is open minded enough to make a proper report of the quality of the landing and not make the general excuse that this is a proprietary issue as it is NOT,,,

  • Mike says:

    One robot takes picture of another robot durning descend to mountain-sized pile of ice and stone, hurling and flying with speed of bullet… Then robots “speak” to each other and transfer this “selfie” to Earth…
    We live in future already…

  • Cometstalker says:

    It would be nice to get an explanation of the artifacts in this image

    • Hugh B, Edinburgh says:

      Looks as if it’s the reflections of the very bright objects within the camera lense. Nothing spectacular. Imagine trying to take a picture like this with a normal camera. Bright reflections against the infinite darkness of space. The artifacts seem to match up with the bright objects in the picture, although reversed, which you tend to get in internal reflections.

  • Hugh B, Edinburgh says:

    If you can get the thruster working, then that would be the time to fire the harpoons.

  • Hugh B, Edinburgh says:

    I hope the Rosetta team can see these comments?

Comments are closed.