Commanded Journey: At An End. Rosetta Falls Silent.

mrk-rosetta-touchdown-2016 So it has all just now drawn to a close, thus, from Seamus Haney:

“. . .And lightening? One meaning of that

Beyond the usual sense of alleviation,

Illumination, and so on, is this:

A phenomenal instant when the spirit flares

With pure exhilaration. . . .”

Here’s the bit from ESA this early Friday morning.

. . . .ESA’s historic Rosetta mission has concluded as planned, with the controlled impact onto the comet it had been investigating for more than two years.

Confirmation of the end of the mission arrived at ESA’s control centre in Darmstadt, Germany at 11:19 GMT (13:19 CEST) with the loss of Rosetta’s signal upon impact.

Rosetta carried out its final manoeuvre last night at 20:50 GMT (22:50 CEST), setting it on a collision course with the comet from an altitude of about 19 km. Rosetta had targeted a region on the small lobe of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, close to a region of active pits in the Ma’at region. . . .

Seamus Haney was a very fine poet. And he was a philosopher king. Clearly he was right — a time comes, when it is time to move on, in silence. Yet as Philae and Rosetta show, that need not be a melancholy moment. Onward, grinning.



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