The Rosetta mission: Space probe today, supercomputer tomorrow

November 2014

After ten years flying around the depths our solar system, the Philae space probe caught up and landed on comet 67-P. So on November 12, 2014, the European Space Agency (ESA) celebrated being the first to complete such a task.

Image Credit: ESA.int

Image Credit: ESA.int

We think it’s a pretty impressive feat! But down here on Earth, it’s also important. As space tech improves, whether from NASA, ESA or other agency’s research, it eventually comes down to Earth and inspires the consumer market.

In the past, developments for space have had applications in digital photography, computer hardware, retail tech, medical fields, transportation and mapping, among many more.

From the ESA’s announcement:

“Our ambitious Rosetta mission has secured a place in the history books: not only is it the first to rendezvous with and orbit a comet, but it is now also the first to deliver a lander to a comet’s surface,” said Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA’s Director General.

“With Rosetta we are opening a door to the origin of planet Earth and fostering a better understanding of our future. ESA and its Rosetta mission partners have achieved something extraordinary today.”

The mother spacecraft was named after the Rosetta stone, which enabled translation of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, and its probe, Philae, after the island where the stone was discovered. Both the aartifactt and the area by the Nile River in Egypt turned out to have a lot of historical significance. With such a long mission, in both time and distance, perhaps the Rosetta-Philae mission will also translate into important things for the modern world.

We applaud you, European Space Agency for your work and your success!

What do you think we can expect next? What do you hope to see?

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