Dear Rosetta Team:
You gave us an amazing look at a strange and wondrous object formed at the dawn of the solar system. Comets such as 67P, and some of their asteroid cousins in the inner solar system, are rich in water (rocket fuel, drinking water for astronauts, breathing oxygen) that probably supplied Earth’s oceans, and they preserve organic material that may have seeded Earth with the ingredients for life. Rosetta and Philae completed an amazing expedition that has changed our understanding of comets forever. We can imagine the day when human explorers follow their robot scouts, like Rosetta, to explore and exploit these amazing landscapes.
Rosetta has provided us with a tremendous amount of scientific knowledge and has generated an amazing level of excitement among people of all generations and cultures around the globe. These types of missions offer a way to not only unify people in their admiration of what human intelligence can do at the service of knowledge but also give rise to the inspirations of young people to study science. Now we need for Europe to continue this great legacy which will help to sustain our high interest and expertise in small body missions. We need to support in particular the AIM mission, whose goal is to perform high-resolution visual, thermal and radar mapping of the asteroid to build detailed maps of its surface and interior structure. AIM could visit a small binary Near-Earth Asteroid as early as 2022.
Mission accomplished! Congratulations and thank you.
Here is a video message from our co-founder, Dr. Brian May.