Alexandria, Va. -- "Hello World." Upon hearing that brief message, scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) and followers around the world sent up a collective cheer. Rosetta -- the ESA spacecraft currently on a 10-year mission to orbit and land on a comet -- awoke in January after a three-year hibernation, and was ready to get to work.
The Rosetta spacecraft launched on March 2, 2004, to study Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In August, Rosetta will enter the comet's orbit. By November, scientists will plant a lander on the comet, in the hope of learning more about the conditions at the dawn of our solar system.
Read all about Rosetta's mission and what scientists hope to learn about our origins in the July issue of EARTH Magazine: http://bit.
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The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 49 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.