Space Foundation News

Free Admission to the Discovery Center on Nov. 12 for Rosetta Landing Attempt

Written by: developer

The Space Foundation is partnering with the German and European Space Agencies to host a public event at the Discovery Center for the Rosetta mission’s landing attempt on Nov. 12.

The public is invited to Space Foundation Discovery Center in Colorado Springs on Wednesday, Nov. 12, to learn about the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission and monitor the Nov. 12 landing attempt.

The Discovery Center will be open to the public free of charge all day on Nov. 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Discussion and presentations will be on-going and the public is invited to bring a sack lunch and drop in to learn why this mission is important to our understanding of life on Earth.

Why the landing attempt is significant
The European Space Agency (ESA) launched Rosetta aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle in March 2004. After a 10-year journey, Rosetta is schedule to release its lander on Nov. 12 to attach to its destination, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. While not the first spacecraft to visit a comet, Rosetta is the first to orbit one and the first to send a lander to a comet’s surface.
The complicated landing is expected to take about seven hours and will involve three control centers: 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.

Rosetta’s instruments will study the comet from orbit, while its lander, Philae, collect samples from the surface and takes photos. It is expected that the study of the elements that make up 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko will give scientists insight into the very earliest beginnings of our solar system. The spacecraft is named for the Rosetta Stone that allowed the deciphering of hieroglyphics and provided clues about ancient Egyptian civilization.

Why the Space Foundation is hosting this educational open house event
The Space Foundation designed its Discovery Center to be a STEM-purposed center of formal and informal education in Colorado, offering events and exhibits for the public and programs for schools that focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Discovery Center is located in Space Foundation World Headquarters, at 4425 Arroweswest Drive, Colorado Springs.

The Space Foundation partners with space agencies around the world, including ESA and the German Space Agency (DLR). Last week, the Space Foundation and DLR hosted the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Germany Aerospace Roundtable (UGART) in Frankfurt, attended by representatives of 30 industries and 20 agencies. It included a visit to ESA’s Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt for a detailed briefing on the Rosetta mission. The Space Foundation will share those insights with the public during its open house on Nov. 12.

Homeschool Day
Nov. 12 will also be the first day of the Discovery Center’s new Homeschool Day. Each month the Discovery Center will offer an education program specifically for homeschool students. The structured homeschool program on Nov. 12 will be held from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Then students and their families are invited to stay for the informal Rosetta mission program and to monitor the lander’s progress.

To reserve a space in the Nov. 12 Homeschool Day activities from 9:30 – 11:00, email [email protected].

Learn more about the Rosetta mission at

For more information about the Space Foundation Discovery Center, visit, or call 719.576.8000.