Catching a Comet – Rosetta Mission Landing


On 12 November, the Rosetta Mission will reach the final destination of its 10 year voyage – the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The process will take seven hours, and once complete, it will be the first spacecraft in history to land on the surface of a comet. Design & Data is generating engagement during the Live broadcast as well as supporting the European Space Agency (ESA) Social Media team with its digital coverage of Rosetta and Philae

After decades of planning, construction and flight, Rosetta’s lander will separate from its comet-chasing companion before descending onto the mysterious surface at less than one metre per second – around walking speed. Immediately after touchdown, two harpoons will anchor the lander to the surface, preventing it from escaping the comet’s weak gravity. This ingenious plan will also need to navigate through the comet’s hazardous environment. Dotted with large cliffs, boulders and jets of gas and dust, landing on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is a critical part of the mission.

This momentous mission will unlock secrets hidden within the icy world of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and allow us to delve beneath its surface – revealing information on its composition and history, as well as our own origins. Quite literally, the stuff of science fiction!

The Rosetta Landing Event is taking place at ESA’s Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. We will be supporting the event with Twitter feeds and social media content creation using innovative Twitter tools such as Twitter Curator and Snappy TV – generating engagement across all the ESA social media channels. Design & Data is essentially becoming a Beta tester for Twitter’s engagement tools within the European space sector.

Curated Tweets generated by us will become highlight points within the Live stream of the landing. Our goal is to feed in reactions from key stakeholders and influencers during the Live broadcast.

Throughout the Rosetta mission, Design & Data have created a cartoon film series leading up to this historic event. The latest episode ‘Prepare for #CometLanding’ is now online and has broken all records with over 350,000 hits since its release on 5 November

We have also set up the Rosetta Shop, where Rosetta T-shirts inspired by Europe’s comet chaser can be purchased. These feature the comet-chasing duo Rosetta and Philae and Rosetta mission milestones spanning over 11 years.

The event will be streamed live by ESA and you can also join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #CometLanding. Your tweet may even be selected as one to be shown during the Live stream, potentially reaching over 2 million viewers around the globe. See you there! .

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