WASHINGTON: NASA on Wednesday announced two finalists for billion-dollar robotic missions -- one to explore a comet and another Saturn's moon Titan -- with a launch by the winner planned in the 2020s. "These are tantalizing investigations that seek to answer some of the biggest questions in our solar system today," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Titan is Saturn's largest moon, and is seen as one of the most likely hosts of some form of life in the solar system…
DARMSTADT, GERMANY: Europe's pioneering Rosetta spacecraft concluded a 12-year odyssey with a controlled crash-landing Friday onto the comet it has orbited and probed for two years to unravel the secrets of the Solar System's birth, mission controllers said. "I can confirm the full success of the descent of Rosetta," Mission Manager Patrick Martin announced to wild cheering in the control centre, based in Darmstadt near Frankfurt in Western Germany. "Rock-n-roll Rosetta," added a visibly moved Matt Taylor, the mission's…
PARIS: Earth bid a final farewell to robot lab Philae on Wednesday, severing communications after a year-long silence from the pioneering probe hurtling through space on a comet.
CAPE CANAVERAL: Scientists for the first time have directly detected key organic compounds in a comet, bolstering the notion that these celestial objects delivered such chemical building blocks for life long ago to Earth and throughout the solar system.