It’s been a long road for the ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft; but after 10 years of interplanetary travel, the time has finally come for the probe to land on its high-speed target: comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. With only hours left until the lander Philae is scheduled to touch down on the comet’s surface, the next 24 hours are critical for the first-ever mission of its kind.
Rosetta’s prime objective is to help understand the origin and evolution of the Solar System. Because the comet’s composition reflects that of the pre-solar nebula out of which the Sun and planets formed more than 4.6 billion years ago, the mission provides exciting opportunities to explore the role comets may have played in seeding Earth with water, and life itself.
Join us as this historic event unfolds: visit National Geographic News for live streaming coverage starting at 2 p.m. EST (19:00 GMT) on Tuesday, November 11.