The Art of Movement is a monthly show that highlights the most significant innovations in science and technology that are helping shape our modern world.
(CNN) From the realms of science fiction to science fact, the Rosetta mission reached its climax this week when when the mission's scientists succeeded in landing a washing machine sized probe named Philae on a moving comet after a 6.4 billion mile journey.
It has been a decade long chase around the solar system for the spacecraft to catch up with its constantly moving target, Churyumov Gerasimenko better known as Comet 67P. For many who gaze dreamily at the stars above,[[http://www.toshibaprobe.com/PLT-704AT.html]
Ultrasound Transducer Probe Linear Toshiba PLT-704AT this is one of the most exciting thing to happen in recent memory. But why should everyone else care?
Matt Taylor, European Space Agency project scientist:
Rosetta is a big deal, enough to be the sexiest mission ever. Rosetta has rendezvoused, orbited and will soon deploy a lander to the comet surface. If that isn't enough firsts, the orbiter will remain alongside the comet for over a year, watching it grow in activity as it approaches the Sun, getting to within 180 million km in summer next year, when the comet will be expelling hundreds of kilograms of material every second.
It's got an awesome profile: the adventure of the decade long journey necessary to capture its prey, flying past the Earth, Mars and two asteroids on the way. The years of preparation dating back to the days of the Giotto mission. The challenges of flying over 6 billion km to reach the comet, to bulls eye getting into orbit, even after a 31 month nap, around a body we knew next to nothing about at launch, other than it was going to constantly push us away more, the closer we got. The passion and dedication of the teams working for so long on Rosetta to make it work, to do what it was designed for science.
Rosetta will show us how a comet works. We have been to comets before with spacecraft, observed them for centuries from the ground, but for the first time with Rosetta, we will "live" alongside a comet for over a year, sniffing and tasting it, scratching it with the lander, seeing how it is made up and how it evolves in time with its interaction with energy of the Sun.
Thought to be predominantly made of ice, comets are also considered to have been a possible delivery mechanism for water to the Earth, along with organic material that could have provided the building blocks for proteins and possibly life. Comets are considered frozen relics of the formation of the solar system and examining comets provides us with an insight into the conditions and composition of that time. We are doing archeology into how our planet was formed and evolved to what we live on today. It's important to understand where we came from, to get an idea of where we should be going.