This view shows Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as seen by the OSIRIS wide-angle camera on ESA's Rosetta spacecraft on September 29, 2016, when Rosetta was at an altitude of 14 miles (23 kilometers).
The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta mission will come to a dramatic end on Friday, Sept. 30, with a controlled touchdown of the spacecraft on a region of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko known for active pits that spew comet dust into space. Confirmation of the end of mission is expected at about 4:20 a.m. PDT (7:20 a.m. EDT). ESA is ending the mission due to the spacecraft's ever-increasing distance from the sun, which has resulted in significantly reduced solar power with which to operate the vehicle and its instruments.
Rosetta is a European Space Agency mission with contributions from its member states and NASA. Rosetta's Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by the German Aerospace Center, Cologne; Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Gottingen; French National Space Agency, Paris; and the Italian Space Agency, Rome. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the U.S. participation in the Rosetta mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
For more information on the U.S. instruments aboard Rosetta, visit http://rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov.
More information about Rosetta is available at http://www.esa.int/rosetta.