A close up detail of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The image was taken by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera. Credit: ESA

After ten years of traveling through space, the ESA probe Rosetta has finally reached its target today. Its target is the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko as seen in the featured photo.

It was in March 2004 when the spacecraft was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket at the ESA launch site in French Guiana.

As the mission is to travel for 10-year travel at a speed of 55 000 km/h (34175 mph) to a distant comet the size of Manhattan, that by itself is moving extremely fast – it was indeed a daunting prospect.

Once it has arrived at the comet, the space-probe will start to rigorously explore it. The comet orbits the sun between Jupiter and Earth with a cycle of 6,45 Earth years.

The aim of the mission is to enhance our understanding of comets and how our solar system came into being. The Rosetta probe will do this using many of its own advanced instruments and also a lander called Philae.

The Rosetta will dispatch the Philae robotic lander for a controlled touchdown on the comet nucleus. It will then start taking photos and samples to analyze. With an aim of determining the chemical compounds present on the comet.

Hit the link below for updated information.

Rosetta Mission Page/