After a 10-year journey that has clocked up more than 6 billion kilometres, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft is rapidly closing in on its destination comet, and ESA is inviting you along for the ride.
Join the “Rosetta, are we there yet?” campaign, a photo contest to support the last leg of the epic voyage to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, and be in with the chance of winning some fantastic prizes.
“Are we there yet?” is a question that we have all probably asked – or at least thought – at some point on a journey. Perhaps it’s the children asking “Are we there yet?” from the back seat of the car five minutes into a five-hour drive, or maybe it’s what you’re thinking while waiting in line for your morning coffee.
It’s certainly a question that has no doubt entered the minds of the Rosetta mission team over the spacecraft’s decade-long journey to its target comet. Finally, the much-awaited “Yes, we have finally arrived!” is just around the corner.
Today, there are about 20 000 km separating Rosetta from the comet, but on 6 August it will by just 100 km. Confirmation of this is expected at ESA’s space operations centre, in Darmstadt, Germany, at around 09:45 GMT (11:45 CEST) on 6 August.
This unique occasion will secure ESA’s place in history with the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet. Later, Rosetta will orbit the comet and, in November, it will become the first mission to send a lander to a comet’s surface.
To commemorate the momentous milestone of reaching the comet, ESA is inviting you to take part in a photo contest celebrating journeys and arrivals. Up for grabs is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be at ESA’s operations centre in Germany in November, for the VIP event celebrating the first landing on a comet.
Two top winners will be chosen: one decided by a public vote and one by ESA judges. The judges will be looking for a photo that not only expresses the feeling of travelling and arriving at a destination, but also connects with the themes of the mission (see below for tips)
Join the adventure to win amazing prizes
There will also be 10 runner-up prizes of ESA gift bags including Rosetta water bottles, posters, t-shirts, stickers and pin badges. Spot prizes will also be awarded in the lead up to arrival for images that particularly capture the attention of the judges.
We invite you to submit photos of yourself, your friends or your family on a journey, whether you’re going on holiday, on a cycle ride or simply going to the shops.
We will be particularly impressed if you can include a Rosetta mission science theme. For example, Rosetta will be trying to understand whether comets played a part in forming Earth’s oceans – so one theme is ‘water’. Water is essential to life, so you could use ‘life’ as an inspiration, too. Or, perhaps you will be encountering some comet-like terrains: a geyser or an interesting rock or ice formation might provide a unique backdrop to a ‘selfie’.
Want some props to include in your photo? Feel free to download and build our paper Rosetta model (or even make your own), or print out our Rosetta banner to fill in and hold up to the camera to tell us where you’re going.
How to enter
Photos can be uploaded via esa.int/RosettaCompetition, via the Rosetta Mission Facebook page (you don’t need a Facebook account to enter) or from Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #RosettaAreWeThereYet.
Don’t forget to share your photos across social media channels to increase your voting potential!
The competition is open now and will accept entries until 07:00 GMT (09:00 CEST) on 6 August. Within a few moments of Rosetta’s arrival at the comet being confirmed – expected around 09:45 GMT (11:45 CEST) on 6 August – voting will be enabled and will continue until 14:00 GMT (16:00 CEST) on 21 August, during which time anyone can vote on their favourite photos.
Please be sure to read the rules, terms and conditions for full instructions on how to enter and vote, details regarding eligibility, information about the prizes and troubleshooting tips.
Meanwhile, feel free to ask our Twitter spacecraft @ESA_Rosetta #RosettaAreWeThereYet at any time to find out how much further it is to the comet. Of course, @ESA_Rosetta will also announce when arrival has been confirmed on 6 August.
More details about the arrival – and a press event to celebrate the occasion – will be provided soon.
For more information, please contact:
ESA Science and Robotic Exploration Communication Officer
Tel: +31 71 565 6799
Mob: +31 61 594 3 954