Deep Impact and Stardust: Are Comets Made of the Same Stuff?

"We were hoping to see an exact agreement between Stardust and Deep Impact and we don’t have that exact agreement right now."

- Carey Lisse, Ph.D., Deep Impact Chemist

December 1 , 2006  Laurel, Maryland -
This week, the European Space Agency's office in Paris announced that one of its spacecraft called "Rosetta" is preparing to swing-by Mars in a couple of months in February 2007. Since its launch in March 2004, Rosetta has been on a trajectory that will eventually lead it to its landing on a comet in the first half of 2014. After landing, Rosetta will burrow into Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, named after two Russian scientists who discovered the 2-mile-diameter comet in 1969. The Rosetta spacecraft is heavy and needs to use three gravity assists from Earth and one from Mars in February 2007 to get to Comet 67P seven years from now.


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