Comet probe "Rosetta" on its way into space

Start in the third attempt in Kourou gegl ckt

Rosetta probe near the earth © ESA
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The European comet probe "Rosetta" is on the way to space. On board an Ariane 5 rocket, the probe was launched punctually at 08.17 CET from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Two minutes and 19 seconds after the start, the booster was successfully disconnected, and another 50 seconds later, Rosetta's payload fairing was blown off. About 2 hours after the launch, the Rosetta probe is said to have reached its final trajectory.

Strong high winds prevented the first attempt to launch the comet probe last Thursday. A second attempt had to be canceled on Friday due to damage to the heat insulation of the Ariane-5.

The goal of the nearly one billion euro "Rosetta" mission is to solve the last riddles about comets. Comets are considered by the scientists as remnants of the early phase of the solar system, which have hardly changed since. Researchers hope to gain new insights into the formation of the solar system some 4.5 billion years ago.

(ESA, RP Online, 02.03.2004 - NPO) Display