Rosetta Spacecraft Hitches a Ride 500 Million Miles Away Back to Earth

After being adrift in space for almost 2 and half years, Rosetta gets a ride back on a giant comet.
3:00 | 01/20/14

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Transcript for Rosetta Spacecraft Hitches a Ride 500 Million Miles Away Back to Earth
And next here, tonight, we're tempted to begin this story like a children's book. 500 million miles from Earth, a tiny warrior just woke up from a long sleep and sent a message to Earth today, saying, in effect, I'm ready for mission impossible. The little satellite named Rosetta, ready to risk it all to unlock the secrets of the universe. How? Here's ABC's Clayton Sandell. Reporter: Today, tiny Rosetta woke from its long slumber. And phoned home. It's the little craft that could. Soaring 500 million miles from Earth, into the dark reaches of space. It's been resting for more than two years, saving its energy until today. Its destination? An icy comet orbiting deep in our solar system, an almost impossible target to hit. Think of it like firing a cannonball from Los Angeles, all the way to New York, trying to hit a specific horse on a spinning merry-go-round. If it works, Rosetta's robotic sidekick will then land on the comet surface in November. In their soil, could be the origins of life. We hope to learn how life on Earth came to be. And so, it's a completely unique opportunity to dig back into the past. Reporter: Rosetta is now wide awake, and hoping its comet rendezvous will make history. Clayton Sandell, ABC news, Denver.

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