This decision was motivated by the fact that communication with the spacecraft will soon become impossible due to Chury way far away from the Sun. Even in its final part of the mission, Rosetta will provide the very first measurements of the density of Chury’s atmosphere and will send to Earth detailed information about Chury’s surface. In total, Rosetta travelled some six billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) to reach Chury. Most of the volatile material of the comet is older than the solar system, the researchers concluded.
A University of Bern team designed and built Rosetta’s ROSINA instrument (Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis). The researchers also helped develop the MUPUS instrument (Multi-Purpose Sensors for Surface and Subsurface Science) aboard Rosetta’s robot lander, Philae, to help analyse the temperature and composition of Chury’s surface.