Comets also are thought to have helped provide Earth with water and other necessary ingredients for life as we know it.
The European Space Agency launched Rosetta, and its onboard probe, in March 2004. It spent 957 days in a scheduled hibernation as it flew through space toward the comet.
Scientists woke the spacecraft up in January as it began its approach to the comet. Rosetta rendezvoused with the comet in August and maneuvered into orbit around it.
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