Rosetta Spacecraft in Orbit Around 'Rubber Duck' Comet

Rosetta becomes first spacecraft to orbit comet after 10-year chase.
20:10 | 08/06/14

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Transcript for Rosetta Spacecraft in Orbit Around 'Rubber Duck' Comet
Decade long trip into space that could tell us about the origins of our own life. Today the Rosetta spacecraft placed itself right along side a -- giving mankind. Its closest look of the heavenly object that has ever been seen hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen back here -- -- New York comets are thought to be. Alessio objects that brought. Building blocks of life including water to earth in this historic tenure trip by the Rosetta spacecraft will help scientists confirm those theories. Especially when it comes to landing on comet 67. BBC's -- -- explains. The comment. Daylight and resents his mission control center in Germany. And this is the actual -- the spacecraft has been chasing for ten news. It's two and a half miles across and oddly shaped like two pools fused together. Never before has a space -- being so close to a -- just sixty miles away and for so long. This spacecraft will spend the next few months analyzing what the comet is made from. Its mission is to find out when the -- -- so -- to kick started life on our planet. They -- -- the the four and a half billion years ago. Bringing -- them water and sold some of the ingredients for life. As it -- to those ingredients -- and create the chemicals from which life emerged. So he's solid he's right. The origin of life and it won't lift a home somehow Wolfson was involved in the life -- -- -- and thought -- could've come from the moment the company. In the DNA of the world might form could have come from a -- the theory is that -- spoke with the many of the basic building blocks of life. Molecule institutes pulpit -- and me think and many of the chemical compounds. They all mixed together in the -- they wouldn't say. To pool confessed to very simple will be nuisance which billions of years late today at twin tone they've told. To the wound to none of them that we see in the world around this today. What started off this -- life evolved into more complex organisms including else. Ryan Jones is a researcher working and space science to poetry close to silent pool here in serie. One of -- the really big questions that presents is addressing his stint -- -- -- life on earth. That they bring to the the key ingredients -- this primal you'll see that -- led to the development of life. -- -- spend the next few months taking measurements and pictures. It's up close and personal we will be -- -- understand everything there is to understand. About the comment about the chemical composition about whether the ice on the comet was indeed the source all of the oceans on on planet earth. In November scientists plan to land to prove to take actual -- -- and find out whether comets really do you hold the key. To how life on -- began. -- the -- BBC news. And right now we have the pleasure of having Italian astronaut -- apartment -- joining us from Houston. That tell us a little bit more about the importance of Rosetta mission -- thank you for joining us. Scientifically speaking how important is this mission. Well there a few things that any space mission brings. And how it right through to -- -- thinking thinking beat three -- -- Science technology and then won it for -- is most important any -- -- -- Science doesn't really need to be justified these. It is such an important thing in itself it's what makes us human different Romania under hanging on this planet we we -- we want to know. We we come out with questions and then we answer those questions and both -- and being more questions are right now. We have wanna be the most exciting. -- submitted in writing problem lies beneath. The answer to -- -- fundamental question these. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- The second greatest team is how indeed and argued -- organic matter. Time to come to work you can -- what brought life to work. -- -- comments. Part of -- this process that brought life when -- -- build those question I really fundamental we've been we've been wondering about important for years generations. I was saying centuries. So now we had. We have the -- he's amazing amazing have -- -- out of sending a spacecraft. To model these building blocks he just happens to look like now are Robert acting I think it's I think it's I'm confident we can. We can -- and see it and and now we you know we. They're gonna analyze -- and see what's laying off what are we gonna find on top of it so we may now we add these questions. And -- -- will be able to answer some of these questions any negativity. We will have more questions coming out of the concert so. That's the scientific part of me and I think that again and it's 88 it's part of what makes -- -- -- -- really. -- -- -- -- -- The secular parties technology. He it's been ten years since we launch the spacecraft. It's been -- Quietly almost hibernating for ten years and -- -- and just the idea albeit some waking up and sending messages and it pains and coming out -- -- sensors alive and it's taking pictures. It's just amazing. Fifty years ago -- he would not that being. Possible and now now we have it and -- -- -- technologically -- an incredible advances or action I think at this point. I was that guy is really the most advanced technology example after -- -- knock off that we demanded kudos to deal marks now we ever sat down. Changing a comment. Seen in thinking thinking that cost us and soon enough. We land something on 96. A small problem that will do even more niceties and and that's again an unproven technology something that we do for the first side. All of these firsts are -- steps small steps toward us -- -- one day it's not going to be. -- probably going to be and there is going to be human land there so of the -- -- -- -- -- fractions. -- -- -- coming to in to help for the future healthy years from now we use these knowledge so right now what about three awards. Go ahead yes because -- certainly. Yes ousting 333 awards yes that the third -- -- -- -- and really what we're do means. Opening media envelope -- on our knowledge and we -- exploring yes. -- dvds and not human food but that's sandals on now on a comment. But it's the closest thing that we can get now. And that all we often endorsing the future to -- that -- abusing any if I cannot want -- -- to -- -- my family part of defining. The fourth the fourth word is that stock -- direction. When I learned about that and other as a condition. The first thing that came to mind these one book that inspired millions -- not billions of people around the world companies. The little friends Diane Flanders on -- today. He leaned on a small planet and Danny Pete -- -- ride the news from some some stocks that were coming around -- in in states and any man in America while. Humans deals machine that we land -- a comment and he will travel. In and around the universe for years out there after -- -- signals we lost company and to follow it. And he would be always -- would be. Long. Still going long long after -- we -- gone and so. I think there's something they'd play -- expression on about what we need and what we're going to -- next couple couple months site I think it's wrong talked about that now it's. Very fascinating watching graphics of how this spacecraft is now just in -- course. Taking that rendezvous with the comet and the timeline that it won't happen of course in November was that will attempt to land a spacecraft on comet 67. Give us an idea of how hard of a mission. That will be. One imagines. You're sending. First who sends a small spacecraft to to find. Keeping that in the -- Blackness of hopefuls face and find them very -- tiny. That they may not make any comment I mean as opposed to a planets as opposed to 22 bigger. -- -- bodies of a comic he's an extremely small. And you don't know anything about it -- don't know what's -- as you unknown. The one that lending features could crude moved in did you would need. Now now we've seen -- features and we've seen how these objects can shape. And that these features we -- allow us to determine -- it's a suitable place to send a comment now remember net. Part of expression part of that nice season -- have to analyze that coma that's that's who. That extended that -- -- that come out of that. The comment once he gets heated by the sun and what he's -- ABC -- becomes beautiful. Those those always face. The sock dad there that he told them on the sun -- -- inside of the comments and he starts erupting. And also what we've seen and so. One on the way to enforce disarm. That call my face -- -- he's going in that direction on the fly -- and going away it's the other way around. So obviously we want to -- something that allows us to allies also those components to see what things -- the comment. Now that the sign -- about de -- asked yet to find a way. To lend. These these small probably -- it's as big as about about as a small -- in nineteen in a position it suitable for decided that they intend to have. But also that suitable for actually lending you can you don't want you don't want to probe could be damaged during an ending you don't want anything unexpected to happen. -- bay complex when you are you're sending commands millions millions of people miles away. Complex also because give us an idea how fast on the move and how much harder. It makes a mission like was that -- -- to hit that moving target. Self. I always say not any -- myself spaceflight. Tom I always say -- what we knew. Nowadays it looks almost ordinary you know we we would climbing a rocket to -- we react should -- -- in space. Came less than ten days later we are in orbit and next in six hours later we -- on the space -- he looks so smooth so easy. But there is an incredible. Large group of incredibly Smart people that -- -- that makes. -- complex gulf country -- -- -- date him I've been a tough job and -- make that looks easy but it's really incredibly hard. So. A comment I I don't have that big is -- how fast easy he thinks moving bodies in excess of not. Of thank donors per second that it's way in excess of that. Now wants wants their spacecraft reaches the comment he will be moving at the same -- speed. Cobb however that that complex so that the common but it's new artificial satellite he still moving -- -- -- feet of space. So. That that really complicates the thing orbital mechanics. -- -- also. Get the -- and get to playing. Certainly that the sun orbital. -- -- national feel the wind will also affect how we. How that complex. -- spacecraft blasted the plan the chronicling will be moving space and how we have to -- -- -- He -- he certainly increases in -- you'll want the people on the ground half to take into one direction for making them and. And of course comets have -- stargazers since the dawn of time about comment. That made them so captivated. While -- and I think that there are several things in humans are. And -- stock afraid and at the same time they are captivated by what by what they don't understand. So he's doing -- -- managing. Past thousand years ago. Something that was not in disguise what it wants at pierce and it's completely different from anything else. You know that. Yeah thirty UN speed -- look at the sky that we used before -- dating they were used to seeing stars costs elections -- -- fiscal selections. And may be -- -- the -- Cops -- something new friend moving and those who had a plants obviously -- have brighter day don't twinkle. And then bought at once something completely different appears in the sky and how do you justify next how do you how do you come to -- community. Think it's really difficult to beat you because you don't have the tools to understand that. So through sort of new menu is out people that -- able to talk to -- -- -- more offensively he's cauldron that there was every currency. Can be learned about bats and so so we know now that indeed did these comments circle around the Sunday about highly elliptical orbits and and -- -- Bigby Tom. And regular intervals. Dodd DCs costing -- these -- the massive -- fascinated. Thirty humans has not just as as we now so. I think that he's both their desire to understand and again to answer those questions why -- -- what makes these. Celestial body defending the otters. That's what really catches our attention and pass scares us and and and at the same time. That makes doesn't want to go there it's the same instinct that makes -- look at their horizons and -- them. What he's beyond that horizon. And and we want to conquered -- -- and and there will always be something else beyond that. And of course this mission traveling to the materials so solar system here. And it's arguably the European space agency's most ambitious project to date rivaling. Historically NASA's Hubble telescope project and complexity of the -- days. That -- be a little bit surprised to see that Europe. May show up NASA. -- -- in -- enormous pride to let him let me opening closet friends of his here date this year. Right now you tell me these. He's the president said that Fortis Fortis -- -- -- -- is the president of the European. Councils and I and I'm not so report the semester. Police on -- presents itself I am I am very proud of -- -- -- and suggesting general on the process that brought us to be. To be an accident to be a community now. When you when you around -- would you -- around the world insane insane NASA. Everybody knows when not -- -- NASA put the man on the moon and -- an incredible feats it's a fantastic accomplishment he changed. He changed human perspective forever. Act and he's got eight it's an was not was never in -- level because you know anybody it's younger I think young agency and we haven't we enough with the man on the moon. And our director -- -- said that. Lots then you come out with something nine days. Then again it's science technology exploration and east direction and on it wants. It's a first any so incredibly. Fascinating and and relevant. And so yes he makes me proud -- makes me proud of being part. Of of the European Space Agency. And it even more so and as any time -- belonging to talk with two an agency that he's the world champion so of course correction where we -- You know ball over twenty countries participating to -- -- NBC's not the result the one country but many many countries all cooperating in peace. And scientists from all around the world keeping their eye on the -- you mentioned your travel to the International Space Station. What do you heading back up into space again. Hough made a great question maybe -- enough that my Director General. I didn't away at don't know if CFCs. There are days that they're -- these an astronaut corps -- the European astronaut corps we have several astronauts. I'm Mike gospels that he's made off with six people that I've thrown products -- who is currently in the space -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I would like I liked the seeing that. That now that everybody be assigned. Now I'm again in line for another fight -- thirteen. I'm about to elect the laughing NX as soon as days of Kansas and then there's assault preventable NN fact have my -- experiencing thanks again. And you didn't go through a scare when you're out there last when water started leaking into your helmet during a space -- -- back give you any pause. Or it doesn't matter you just like -- back up there. Although he did -- -- -- or even why -- -- there into the next day I was ready to go out out the -- again. It's down. Think -- made my background he's he's a fresh -- a test pilots according -- an air force. At which means that to -- unexpected. Fees to be expected -- it will be me naive to -- to you can go on a space walk around the earth. And can be completely set severe risk to date there is always happened to the basics is part of the job now again our -- on the ground. Today they are really good and minimizing that risk. I think that he's more dangerous to Jay walking downtown Houston and they used to do a spacewalk -- And so what perhaps would would I've read vehicle or driving anything. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I -- with the -- almost cut short. And that I I I can guarantee you that that they will never be -- -- occidental where water gets into the helmet because. That was a very good day for NASA for the space community we. We found out due to rain -- and things. The first one is that there was a problem that week we need and -- we enough talked about. And now we know -- body disorders never gonna happen again. The second thing that we found out he's been -- our procedure our training our -- -- space to ground communication really works. Everything came together that you know on the ground people they name in order -- able to come back I was able to overcome the difficulties. And I'm you're talking about itself. You really need really shows how that he's median progression and and we know how to overcome these. These problems. What we hope you get those hours back up -- space -- Italian astronaut department got thank you for joining us from Houston. And of course you can keep up with this story in real time by downloading the ABC news Japanese star in this story for exclusive out of this world updates -- -- -- For now I'm Michelle Franzen and New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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