- Rosetta was the first spacecraft to orbit a comet’s nucleus.
- It will be the first spacecraft to fly alongside a comet as it heads towards the inner Solar System.
- Rosetta will be the first spacecraft to examine from close proximity how a frozen comet is transformed by the warmth of the Sun.
- The Rosetta lander’s instruments will obtain the first images from a comet’s surface and make the first in situ analysis to find out what it is made of.
- On its way to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Rosetta will pass through the main asteroid belt, with the option to be the first European close encounter with one or more of these primitive objects.
- Rosetta will be the first spacecraft ever to fly close to Jupiter’s orbit using solar cells as its main power source.
delivered to the launch pad last night! On the way from the Launch Abort Systems Facility at KSC to Space Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station the capsule passed by the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building for a photo op and also travelled past Launch Complex 39B, the former shuttle launch pad which has been refurbished and modified to launch future Orion capsules on the currently-in-design SLS rockets. This first Orion capsule is intended for a test mission. It will be launched unmanned on December 4, 2104 on a Delta IV Heavy rocket, which will send Orion around the Earth twice, reaching an altitude of 3,600 miles on a four-hour, 23-minute mission to test out the crew module. So bummed I won't make it to Florida to see the launch. Good luck Orion!