February 17, 2015 – On 14 February 2015, Rosetta made its closest encounter with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasemenko at just 6 km from the surface and now the next stage of the Rosetta mission is underway. The spacecraft is no longer orbiting the comet, it is now performing a series of flybys to continue its science.
This video explains the next stage of the Rosetta mission, the science that will be done during 2015 by the orbiter’s flybys, and assesses the possibility of the Philae lander’s reactivation from hibernation.
So far Rosetta has only mapped about seventy percent of the surface because the comet’s orbit and rotation kept certain areas in darkness. This year new regions will come into view alongside new activity on the surface.
When the comet is at the peak of its activity in the summer, Rosetta’s instruments will be there to observe, measure and record.