Europe’s comet explorers

Comet Halley as seen by ESA’s Giotto spacecraft in 1986, the last time the comet visited the inner Solar System. Giotto was ESA’s first deep mission, and obtained the first close-up images of a comet. This image was taken from a distance of about 2000 km from Comet Halley. The Sun is located towards the left of the image, provoking outbursts of gas and dust from the comet’s nucleus.

An artist’s impression of Rosetta orbiting Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Release date: 15 February 2013