Europe's Space Odysseys

AP Photo/ESA/CNES/Arianespace

WAITING GAME: The European Ariane V rocket, carrying spacecraft Rosetta, stands at its launching pad at the Kourou space base, French Guiana

If all goes according to plan, Flight 158 will take off this week from Kourou in French Guiana, soaring up and away over the tiny South American country's lush equatorial forests and sandy Atlantic beaches. Flight 158 is no ordinary tourist shuttle, though. It's an Ariane-5G rocket that will launch the Rosetta spacecraft on an ambitious journey halfway across the solar system to intercept and land on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which is currently streaking across space at more than 100,000 km/h inside the orbit of Jupiter. "What's totally obsessing me is that we're launching into a comet and searching for the origins...

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