Rosetta at 21 Lutetia

The Rosetta spacecraft has returned the first images from its flyby of the asteroid 21 Lutetia. The image on the right was taken while the spacecraft was approximately 80,000 kilometers away and it shows a lumpy, cratered world. Lutetia is approximately 100 km in diameter. It is the largest asteroid yet visited by a spacecraft. More images can seen on the Rosetta Blog, and more images will be released later today.

Rosetta is an ESA mission on its way to orbit and deploy a lander on a comet in 2014. The spacecraft took images of another asteroid – 2867 Šteins – in 2008.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), his Micro.blog (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).