Rosetta comet rendezvous: watch live as the comet-chaser finally catches up with its target

Planed in the 1990s and launched in 2004, the Rosetta spacecraft is the culmination of decades of scientific planning and work

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The Independent Online

After 10 years in space travelling more than 4 billion miles, the Rosetta spacecraft is finally about to rendezvous with the comet known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The live stream above comes from the European Space Agency, where the “close approach trajectory insertion” of Rosetta into 67P’s orbit is being monitored. 

Update: Rosetta has now arrived at the comet!

Scientists and engineers will be watching with bated breath to see if their manoeuvres come to fruition, with the spacecraft hopefully assuming a triangular orbit around the comet as it tears through the Solar System of speeds in excess of 34,000mph.

This first stage of the orbit will allow for the closest, most sustained observation of a comet ever performed, but it’s only the first step, as Rosetta continues to study the gravity field of 67P, preparing to launch a small lander onto the comet’s surface on 11 November.