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The scientists and engineers operating Rosetta have begun planning the mission’s spectacular finale, when they will spend several months orbiting within six miles of Comet 67P/C-G’s surface before very gently crashing the spacecraft on the surface.
Because of many factors, Rosetta is not expected to survive the impact, no matter how gently it lands. However, the data it will send back in its final months as it makes tighter and tighter orbits should be well worthwhile.
In related news, the science team has released an animation, posted below the fold, of their re-creation of the flight and crash landing of Philae on the comet.