Chasing a Comet With Rosetta

At this writing today is August 30, 2014 and the Rosetta spacecraft has entered orbit around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenk. (It is an understatement to say that this is an ambitious undertaking, since the flight alone has taken ten years.) The Philae probe is expected to land on the comet in a few weeks, and several sites have been projected.

Comet on 23 August 2014 - NavCam / Copyright ESA / Rosetta / NAVCAM

And I thought the 1986 Vega probes that dealt with both Venus and Halley's Comet were big deals! Well, they were for that time. It's interesting to me that the Rosetta will be using outdated equipment, because a great deal has changed in the ten years since it was first launched. But "old" does not mean ineffective.

Secular scientists are starting with the presuppositions that comets are building blocks of the solar system. By rendezvousing with this comet, they hope to find secrets to the origins of many things, possibly even life itself.

Not hardly.

Instead of cooperating with "deep time" paradigms, the comet is actually testifying to the same old thing that baffles secular scientists: it "acts young", and not billions of years old. The secrets it yields may very well prove disappointing to their worldview.
After a ten-year-long flight, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft entered into orbit around a comet. It will soon attempt to actually land a probe on the comet's surface. Though data-gathering has only just begun, the comet is already divulging secrets.

ESA's Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain told ESA, "Europe's Rosetta is now the first spacecraft in history to rendezvous with a comet, a major highlight in exploring our origins. Discoveries can start."

But the list of discoveries that the ESA expects may be too lofty for a lowly comet. quoted Mark McCaughrean, a senior scientific adviser for ESA, as saying during an August 6 webcast, "The really big questions here are, 'Where do we come from? Where does the solar system we live in come from? How was it put together? How was it assembled? How did the planets get built up individually, and how did water get to this planet that we live on?'"
Okay, Copernicus, to finish reading, navigate over to "European Spacecraft's Comet Close-up a World First".