News of the WeekPLANETARY EXPLORATION

Europe's Comet Chaser Put on Hold Following Launcher Failure

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Science  24 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5606, pp. 486-487
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5606.486a

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Summary

NOORDWIJK, THE NETHERLANDS-- The failure last month of an upgraded version of Europe's Ariane 5 launcher has forced the European Space Agency to cancel the planned January launch of Rosetta, a $1 billion science mission. Rosetta was set to perform an unprecedented feat: Catch up with a speeding comet, go into orbit around it, and dispatch a lander to its surface. Now the scientists don't know where they're going--or when.