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Tomorrow the ESA Rosetta Mission Will Intercept a Comet After a 10-Year Mission

Some things are worth getting up early for.

ESA Rosetta

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta mission launched a decade ago to intercept, study, and put a lander on Comet 67P. The spacecraft “woke up” earlier this year, and it will reach its goal early tomorrow morning with live streaming coverage beginning at 4:00AM ET.

So far we’ve been speculating what comet 67P looks like as Rosetta gets closer. We’ve seen a rubber ducky, a marshmallow Peep, a butt, and even Kuribo’s Shoe, but as of tomorrow we’ll be getting a lot of useful data from Rosetta as she begins studying 67P up close and personal.

One question the ESA hopes to answer is whether or not life here on Earth could have been started by “comet seeding.” Rosetta and its lander Philae, which will land on the comet in November of this year, will search the comet for evidence of the basic elements required for life here on Earth.

It’s bound to be a tense morning for everyone working on the Rosetta mission and for space enthusiasts the world over, so be sure to tune in to watch all the action unfold and be sure to wish Rosetta all the best on Twitter. She has a big morning tomorrow.

(via ESA and Universe Today, image via DLR German Aerospace Center)

Previously in Rosetta

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.