Safran’contribution to the ESA Rosetta / Philae mission

On Wednesday November 12, 2014, after a ten-year journey, the Philae lander touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (aka “Chury”) over 500 million kilometers from Earth.

It was a giant leap for space history, and one the Group helped make possible. The Rosetta probe was placed on an Earth-escape trajectory on March 2, 2004 by an Ariane 5 rocket. And that rocket was powered by none other than three Safran engines – two solid rocket engines and a Vulcain® cryogenic engine. Rosettaawoke from its almost decade-long hibernation on January 20, 2014, to rendezvous with "Chury" last month and then successfully dispatch the lander.

Vue d’artiste de la sonde Rosetta

Rosetta and Philae also feature cutting-edge technology by REOSC, with the Sagem subsidiary lending its expertise to the infrared filters on board that help the devices' cameras take their shots.

The achievement makes Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet the eight celestial body in the solar system on which humankind has landed an artificial device. It follows on from the Moon (1966), Venus (1970), Mars (1971), Jupiter (2003), asteroids 433 Eros (2001) and Itokawa (2005), and Saturn's satellite Titan (also in 2005).