How to follow Rosetta’s grand finale

September 28, 2016
Rosetta is set to complete its historic mission in a controlled descent to the surface of its comet on 30 September, with the end of mission confirmation predicted to be within 20 minutes of 11:20 GMT (13:20 CEST). Details of how, when and where to follow the key moments online, starting with a review of the mission’s impressive haul of science highlights on 29 September, can be found below

29 September 12:30–15:30 GMT / 14:30–17:30 CEST, science highlights
Tune in to the livestream viewer at  rosetta.esa.int or ESA's Facebook page on 29 September for dedicated talks celebrating the scientific highlights of the mission.

Programme overview

  • Matt Taylor (ESA’s Rosetta Project Scientist): Introduction
  • Mohamed El-Maarry (OSIRIS team, University of Bern): Landscapes of Chury
  • Valerie Ciarletti (CONSERT team, Universités Paris-Saclay): Getting the ground truth about the nucleus
  • Thurid Mannel (MIDAS team, University of Graz): Dust under the microscope
  • Jean-Baptiste Vincent (OSIRIS team, Max-Planck Institute for Solar Physics, Göttingen): Cometary activity and fireworks
  • Andre Bieler (ROSINA team, University of Bern/University of Michigan): Comet activity variation and evolution
  • Charlotte Goetz (RPC team, Institute for Extra-terrestrial Physics, TU Braunschweig): The singing comet
  • Cecila Tubiana (OSIRIS team, Max-Planck Institute for Solar Physics, Göttingen): Rosetta’s link to Earth
  • Kathrin Altwegg (ROSINA team, University of Bern): The cometary zoo
  • Björn Davidsson (Asteroids, Comets and Satellites Group, JPL): Formation of our Solar System
  • Matt Taylor: Final comments and close

29 September 20:50 GMT / 22:50 CEST, final manoeuvre
Rosetta is expected to execute its ‘collision manoeuvre’ at 20:50 GMT / 22:50 CEST, at an altitude of about 19 km, which will set it on course to collide with the comet within 20 minutes of 10:40 GMT / 12:40 CEST on 30 September at the comet. An update to confirm the manoeuvre will be provided via the Rosetta blog  and via Twitter through the spacecraft’s account @ESA_Rosetta and via @esaoperations shortly after the manoeuvre is completed.

Images from the descent are expected to be shared from the early morning of 30 September onwards, via ESA’s Space in Images and Rosetta social media channels (in the first instance on Twitter via @ESA_Rosetta).

30 September 07:55–08:05 GMT / 09:55–10:05 CEST, last commands and confirmation of landing time
At 08:00 GMT / 10:00 CEST the last commands will be uploaded to the spacecraft to fine-tune the spacecraft’s pointing, based on the Navigation Camera images taken shortly after the collision manoeuvre. It is at this stage that a refined time for Rosetta’s impact will be known: it is currently predicted at 10:40 GMT / 12:40 CEST (±20 minutes) at the comet but it is expected to be narrowed down to within ±2 minutes.

There will be a short transmission streamed via rosetta.esa.int and ESA's Facebook page confirming this information, and once known, we will update the time indicated at the top of the How to follow... page on the main ESA web portal (and also via the blog and social media channels).

Note that due to the signal travel time, the end of mission will be confirmed 40 minutes after the impact has actually occurred, within 20 minutes of 11:20 GMT / 13:20 CEST.

30 September 10:30–11:40 GMT / 12:30–13:40 CEST, end of mission coverage
Live coverage will begin at 10:30 GMT /12:30 CEST via or at and ESA's Facebook page featuring status updates from mission controllers live from ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Note that the start time may be subject to ±20 minute change depending on the final confirmed impact time.

All times are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control – check this page for the latest update.