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Safety & Security

N° 32–2014: Call for Media: Opportunities to follow Rosetta mission’s historic comet landing

16 October 2014

Members of the media are invited to attend events being held by ESA and the German and French space agencies on the occasion of the first ever attempt at landing on a comet.

ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 6 August after a ten-year journey through the Solar System. The landing site, currently known as Site J and located on the smaller of the comet’s two ‘lobes’, was selected just six weeks after Rosetta arrived at the comet.

The mission’s lander, Philae, will be deployed on 12 November at 08:35 GMT/09:35 CET from a distance of 22.5 km from the centre of the comet. It will land about seven hours later, with confirmation expected to arrive at Earth at around 16:00 GMT/17:00 CET.

Three control centres are involved in the landing: the Rosetta Mission Operations Centre at ESA’s Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany; the Lander Control Centre at DLR in Cologne, Germany; and the Lander Science Operations and Navigation Centre at CNES in Toulouse, France. The activities at each control centre will be closely linked and will be featured in a combined English-language ESA TV programme broadcast from ESOC, with live updates transmitted from all three control centres.

Three main media events will be organised. The international media event will take place at ESA’s Rosetta Mission Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt. National media events will be organised by CNES at the Cité des Sciences in Paris, and by DLR at the Philae Lander Control Centre in Cologne, Germany.

Press briefings and/or live ESA TV transmissions are planned throughout the week of 10 November to provide status reports on Rosetta and its lander, outcomes of the key Go/No-Go decisions in the lead up to separation, and progress as Philae descends towards the comet. The latest science results from the mission will also be presented and there will be opportunities to interview scientists and engineers working on the mission.

(Times below are in CET and programme outlines are subject to change)

CNES event at Cité des Sciences, Paris, France

12 November

15:00  Doors open

15:30–17:30  Landing, official statements and reactions

21:00  Press centre closes


DLR event at Philae Lander Control Centre, Cologne, Germany

12 November

12:00  Doors open

12:15–15:30  Lectures on Philae and interview opportunities

15:30–17:30  Landing (confirmation expected at around 17:00), official statements and reactions, interview opportunities

19:00  Presentation of first images from the surface

20:00  Press centre closes


13 November

14:00  Media update on first science observations


ESA event at ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany


10 November

15:00  Media update (tbc)


11 November

10:00  Media update (tbc)

20:30  Media update


12 November

06:00  Doors open

07:15  Media updates begin; wrap-up of night operations

10:03  Confirmation of lander separation

13:15–15:00  Lunch and interview opportunities

15:00–17:30  Landing (confirmation expected at around 17:00), official statements and reactions

19:00  Presentation of first images from the surface

00:00  Press centre closes


13 November

14:00  Media update on first science observations


14 November

Media update (TBC)


Media applications

Please apply before 22:59 GMT/23:59 CET on 26 October, indicating your preferred location at:

Given the expected high demand and limits owing to logistical, security and health and safety constraints at each site, it is possible that not all applications will be successful. Applicants will be informed whether they have been successful or not on 30 October.

Live coverage of the key Go/No-Go decisions during the night of 11–12 November and of events through the day on 12 November will be provided by ESA TV, on the homepages of all partners and on Twitter (#CometLanding). Press briefings each day either side of landing day will also be streamed live on the Internet at and

For further information, please contact:

Cité des Sciences, Paris, France

CNES Media


Tel: + 33 1 44 76 76 88


Philae Lander Control Centre, Cologne, Germany




ESOC, Rosetta Mission Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany

ESA Corporate Communications Office


Tel : +49 6151 902516