Rosetta probe set for comet collision

One of the most audacious space missions ever undertaken is about to come to an end.

The Rosetta probe that has been tracking a comet for the past two years is going to deliberately crash itself into the 4km-wide ball of ice and dust.

European Space Agency scientists say the satellite has come to the end of its useful life and they want to get some final, ultra-close measurements.

Rosetta is not expected to survive the impact with Comet 67P.

But even if some of its systems remain functional, pre-loaded software on board will ensure everything is shut down on contact.

Controllers here at Esa’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany, commanded Rosetta to change course late on Thursday.

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