Goodbye, Rosetta! The groundbreaking comet mission ends

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and it is no different in Space. After 12 years of invaluable research Rosetta has landed on the surface of comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko to end its historic mission. Thales is extremely proud to have contributed to its success.

Europe’s flagship space mission came to a spectacular conclusion on 30 September 2016 when the spacecraft landed on the comet’s surface. Rosetta has made great strides in the improvement of mankind’s understanding of comets. In fact, in reaching the comet 67P on 6 August 2014, it became the first spacecraft to orbit a comet.

It is to the credit of the European Space Agency (ESA) that Rosetta collected invaluable scientific data until the very end. During the dramatic final hours of descent Rosetta seized the unique opportunity to capture very high-resolution images and make important measurements.

Thales is extremely proud to have equipped the deep space comet mission with our microwave components. Thales traveling wave tubes (TH4604C) in the 30 watt power range are installed in the X band transponder and have played a vital role in communications with Earth. Such communications allow us to receive amazing images of the comet and allow the ESA to receive scientific data for thorough analysis.

Rosetta and Philae leave the general public and the international space community with unforgettable memories and a fantastic haul of scientific data which should yield exciting results in the years to come.