Guest blog post by Matt Taylor, Rosetta Project Scientist.
At the most recent Rosetta Science Working Team meeting, held in Göttingen Germany in September 2015, a number of new science investigations were discussed, along with updates on on-going studies of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and its environment.
This growing body of science and discovery has only been made possible through the dedication of hundreds of scientists and engineers across the globe, who have worked or still work on the mission.
For a project that has been going for almost 30 years, it is also regrettably inevitable that a few members of this large team have been outlived by the mission, including some who unfortunately did not live to appreciate the main comet phase.
As a token of deep gratitude and thanks, the Rosetta SWT has dedicated the upcoming special issue of scientific papers in Astronomy & Astrophysics to everyone who has worked on the mission, including those who continue to work on the mission, but especially those colleagues who have passed away.
As part of this recognition, the SWT has also dedicated two features on the comet to two esteemed colleagues who have passed away in recent years.
These features are the C. Alexander Gate, found on the smaller lobe, dedicated to Dr Claudia J. Alexander, the US Rosetta Project Scientist who passed away in July this year, and the A. Coradini Gate, located on the larger lobe, after Dr Angioletta Coradini, the former Principal Investigator of the VIRTIS instrument, who passed away in September 2011.
The two features were chosen for their prominence on Comet 67P/C-G, and for their very distinctive and striking gate-like appearances, considered to be highly appropriate monuments for our absent colleagues.
Matt also announced the dedication during the opening ceremony of the European Planetary Science Congress today.