How to follow Rosetta’s grand finale


Rosetta is set to complete its historic mission in a controlled descent to the surface of its comet on 30 September, with the end of mission confirmation predicted to be within 20 minutes of 11:20 GMT (13:20 CEST). Details of how, when and where to follow the key moments online, starting with a review of the mission’s impressive haul of science highlights on 29 September, can be found below:

29 September 12:30–15:30 GMT / 14:30–17:30 CEST, science highlights
Tune in to the livestream viewer at  rosetta.esa.int or ESA’s Facebook page on 29 September for dedicated talks celebrating the scientific highlights of the mission.

Programme overview

  • Matt Taylor (ESA’s Rosetta Project Scientist): Introduction
  • Mohamed El-Maarry (OSIRIS team, University of Bern): Landscapes of Chury
  • Valerie Ciarletti (CONSERT team, Universités Paris-Saclay): Getting the ground truth about the nucleus
  • Thurid Mannel (MIDAS team, University of Graz): Dust under the microscope
  • Jean-Baptiste Vincent (OSIRIS team, Max-Planck Institute for Solar Physics, Göttingen): Cometary activity and fireworks
  • Andre Bieler (ROSINA team, University of Bern/University of Michigan): Comet activity variation and evolution
  • Charlotte Goetz (RPC team, Institute for Extra-terrestrial Physics, TU Braunschweig): The singing comet
  • Cecila Tubiana (OSIRIS team, Max-Planck Institute for Solar Physics, Göttingen): Rosetta’s link to Earth
  • Kathrin Altwegg (ROSINA team, University of Bern): The cometary zoo
  • Björn Davidsson (Asteroids, Comets and Satellites Group, JPL): Formation of our Solar System
  • Matt Taylor: Final comments and close

29 September 20:50 GMT / 22:50 CEST, final manoeuvre
Rosetta is expected to execute its ‘collision manoeuvre’ at 20:50 GMT / 22:50 CEST, at an altitude of about 19 km, which will set it on course to collide with the comet within 20 minutes of 10:40 GMT / 12:40 CEST on 30 September at the comet. An update to confirm the manoeuvre will be provided via the Rosetta blog  and via Twitter through the spacecraft’s account @ESA_Rosetta and via @esaoperations shortly after the manoeuvre is completed.

Images from the descent are expected to be shared from the early morning of 30 September onwards, via ESA’s Space in Images and Rosetta social media channels (in the first instance on Twitter via @ESA_Rosetta).

30 September 07:55–08:05 GMT / 09:55–10:05 CEST, last commands and confirmation of landing time
At 08:00 GMT / 10:00 CEST the last commands will be uploaded to the spacecraft to fine-tune the spacecraft’s pointing, based on the Navigation Camera images taken shortly after the collision manoeuvre. It is at this stage that a refined time for Rosetta’s impact will be known: it is currently predicted at 10:40 GMT / 12:40 CEST (±20 minutes) at the comet but it is expected to be narrowed down to within ±2 minutes.

There will be a short transmission streamed via rosetta.esa.int and ESA’s Facebook page confirming this information, and once known, we will update the time indicated at the top of the How to follow… page on the main ESA web portal (and also via the blog and social media channels).

Note that due to the signal travel time, the end of mission will be confirmed 40 minutes after the impact has actually occurred, within 20 minutes of 11:20 GMT / 13:20 CEST.


30 September 10:30–11:40 GMT / 12:30–13:40 CEST, end of mission coverage
Live coverage will begin at 10:30 GMT /12:30 CEST via or at and ESA’s Facebook page featuring status updates from mission controllers live from ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Note that the start time may be subject to ±20 minute change depending on the final confirmed impact time.

All times are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control – check this page for the latest update.




  • D.Z. says:

    Good luck!

  • Andrew Rennie says:

    Well, that was five hours of my life I will never get back!!

    Half an hour to connect ethernet cable across room, VGA cable to TV set, audio from computer to HiFi amplifier, and audio to audio recorder.

    Livestream page confusing. Do I have to sign in before the thing works?

    No pre-event audio or vision to enable a test of connections or if the stream is going to work.

    Event started late, meaning I was desperately trying to reconnect and check my connections. Was the stream working?

    Then, when vision started, for a long time there was no audio. Panic – have I misconnected? Check – Computer audio on and maximum volume? Stream volume up? Change bit-rate?

    The audio starts. Oh dear, compere doesn’t know how to use a microphone – bad popping as he breathes into it.

    Then guest speakers audio has bad warble for much of the time.

    Then frequent “no signal” dropouts. At first I thought that this might be a re-caching problem at my end, but no, it seems to have been at your end (no spinning wheel recaching symbol at centre of screen).

    Then a frozen yellow/green screen with an indescibable howl on the audio, followed by a temporary improvement in vision and audio.

    Feedback from auditorium speakers into guest and presenter microphones due to poor placement of loudspeakers.

    Result: I can remember very little of what was said as I was so agitated by the sheer incompetence of the technicians running this event, and the stress of trying to check the faults were not mine.

    It is now 2:40 am, half an hour after the event finished, and I still have to pack-up the cables.

    Any chance of you recalling the guests and re-recording the talks and posting them on-line as downloadable (MP4) video?

    Andrew Rennie

  • David McGill says:

    What an incredible mission. So many amazing accomplishments: wake-up after the long cold trip, acquire the comet, big comet science, lander/surface science. more survey of the comet, GN&C spectacle, and the list goes on and on. ESA really shined on this mission.

  • Andrew Rennie says:

    What a change in 22 hours!

    Unlike the science briefing telecast, the landing telecast was technically good, with none of the numerous problems that bedeviled yesterday’s programme.

    Well done to the presenters and, in particular, the technicians that made it all work so seemlessly.

    I also appreciated the final moments of Rosetta, with the camera on the signal display telling its own story and no superfluous commentary.

    Thanks also to Holger for sharing with us those final amazing images. Reminded me of the Ranger lunar impact movies. Pity Rosetta’s cameras, unlike Ranger, didn’t have the cadence to show us the approach as a movie. But hey, you can’t have everything!

    The real heroes of the Rosetta mission are the navigators who got Rosetta to 67P and then successfully kept it there. Just look at the NAVCAM archive – almost all images have the comet slap-bang in the centre of the frame!!

    Andrew Rennie

    NOTE TO BLOG MODERATOR: I sent a similar message just after the telecast, but I am not sure it went off successfully. If it did, don’t duplicate by adding this post.

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