Chasing Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was discovered by Soviet scientists Klim Ivanovych Churyumov and Svetlana Ivanovna Gerasimenko in 1969. The European Space Agency has now successfully completed an orbit around the comet after activating the Rosetta probe, which has been tracking it for a decade.
The orbital period of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is 6.45 years and its closest approach to the Sun, its perihelion, will be on August 13, 2015.
The Rosetta probe has created a first in the history of space technology, maneuvering beside a moving body which is travelling at 55,000 km/h, to map its surface, after waking up from its induced coma (deep slumber) in January, firing its rockets for 6.5 minutes, catching the comet.
Rosetta was launched in 2004 from an Ariane rocket, has completed several loops around the Sun and used the gravity of Mars and the Earth to get into position. It was a successful 6-billion kilometer hunt.