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Science & Exploration

N° 27–2014: Call for Media: Rosetta landing site announcement

3 September 2014

Members of the media are invited to ESA Headquarters in Paris, France, on 15 September for the announcement of the primary landing site for Rosetta’s lander Philae, where in November it will attempt the first soft touchdown in history on a comet.

Rosetta arrived at a distance of 100 km from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 6 August, and since then mission scientists and engineers have been carefully studying possible landing sites for Philae.

Five candidate locations were announced on 25 August for further investigation, in order to determine possible orbital and operational strategies for Rosetta to despatch the lander to each of them.

At the same time, Rosetta has moved to within 50 km of the comet, allowing more detailed observations of the proposed sites.

By 14 September, the five candidate sites will have been assessed and ranked, leading to the selection of a primary landing site and a backup. The landing itself is currently scheduled for 11 November.

The final two sites, along with their operational challenges and scientific expectations, will be presented during the briefing.

Draft Programme (subject to change)

ESA Headquarters

8–10 rue Mario Nikis

75738 Paris Cedex 15


10:30               Doors open 

11:00               Fred Jansen, Rosetta mission manager, ESA

Landing: the next big step after wake-up and arrival

11:10                Stephan Ulamec, Philae lander manager, DLR

Presentation of primary and back-up landing sites and the respective descents.

Holger Sierks, PI OSIRIS instrument, MPS Göttingen

Detailed images of the primary landing site

11:25                Jean-Pierre Bibring, Lead lander scientist, IAS Orsay

                       Scientific expectations regarding the primary landing site 

11:35                Andrea Accomazzo, Rosetta flight director, ESA

                       Timeline and operational challenges of the landing

11:45                Fred Jansen, Rosetta mission manager, ESA

                       Next steps on the way to landing

11:55                Questions & Answers

                        Opportunity for individual interviews

12:30               End of programme 

Media registration

Please register by 10 September at:

Directions to HQ:

The press briefing will be live-streamed at *

* Editor's note: The original press release has been modified to remove the reference to streaming on

More about Rosetta

Rosetta is an ESA mission with contributions from its Member States and NASA. Rosetta’s Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI. Rosetta will be the first mission in history to rendezvous with a comet, escort it as it orbits the Sun, and deploy a lander.

Comets are time capsules containing primitive material left over from the epoch when the Sun and its planets formed. By studying the gas, dust and structure of the nucleus and organic materials associated with the comet, via both remote andin situobservations, the Rosetta mission should become the key to unlocking the history and evolution of our Solar System, as well as answering questions regarding the origin of Earth’s water and perhaps even life.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. It is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU.

ESA has Cooperation Agreements with eight other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

Learn more about ESA at:

For further information:

ESA Media Relations Office


Tel: + 33 1 53 69 72 99