After a decade of interplanetary travel and a harrowing orbital entry, the ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft is finally cruising within 50 kilometers of its target, the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko asteroid. To commemorate the momentous event, the Rosetta snapped this selfie with its target in the background. Up next: landing on the rapidly spinning space rock.
The Rosetta program is an unprecedented effort to examine these errant hunks of celestial ice and rock. An, now that the spacecraft’s decade-long journey to intercept 67P is complete, teams at the ESA have spent the last couple months searching for a suitable landing zone for the asteroid. They are scheduled to announce their decision on September 15 and fire the Philae lander shortly thereafter. [The Register]