Spacecraft Orbits Comet for First Time

    Rosetta, the European Space Agency's cometary probe with NASA contributions, is seen in an undated artist's rendering.  After a 10-year journey, Europe's Rosetta spacecraft is due to end its hibernation on Monday and prepare for an unprecedented mission to orbit comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and dispatch a lander to the surface.   REUTERS/ESA/NASA/Handout  (OUTER SPACE - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - RTX17LPM


    The Rosetta spacecraft on Wednesday became the first to orbit a comet after chasing one billions of miles over 10 years. "Thruster burn complete. Rosetta has arrived at comet 67P. We're in orbit!" announced the European Space Agency on Twitter. The comet is known as "Chury." The chase took five loops around the sun and 6.4 billion kilometers, and even involved a two-year hibernation. The next stage will take place in November when controllers will try to put a robotic lander on the surface, which has never been done before. In studying the comet, scientists hope to learn about whether they brought water to Earth or about the chemicals that make up life.

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