Watch Live: ESA Waits for Signal from Comet-Chasing Spacecraft

20 Jan , 2014 by

Watch live streaming video from eurospaceagency at

UPDATE: Rosetta woke up! Read our full story about the acquisition of signal here.

For the first time, a spacecraft will follow a comet as it approaches the Sun and land on its nucleus. But today is key to the success of the mission. After nearly two and a half years in hibernation, its time for Rosetta to wake up!

Rosetta has been soaring through the inner solar system for nearly a decade –flying past Mars and Earth several times and even briefly visiting a couple of asteroids. A special ‘hibernation mode’ for the spacecraft was designed by engineers to allow it to survive the large distances from the Sun during its cruise. Since it went into hibernation on June 9, 2011, Rosetta has orbited entirely on its own completely out of contact. But now the Rosetta spacecraft is finally entering the home stretch of its mission to orbit the 4-km-wide comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Watch live, above, as mission controllers at ESA await for a signal from the spacecraft. The Rosetta mission control team at ESOC is expecting to receive the signal between 17:30-18:30 UTC.

This highlight of the mission will take place in November 2014, when the small, autonomous daughter craft, Philae, lands on the comet itself, a feat never before accomplished.

Find out more about this mission in this video:

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Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

4 Responses

  1. Enrique Ferreyra says:

    she probly press the delay button of the alarm clock…

  2. Olaf2 says:

    Missed it. My computer decided to reboot at the critical moment. :-(

  3. Kawarthajon says:


  4. newSteveZodiac says:

    Phew! That was a heart stopper.

Comments are closed.