Fred Jansen managed the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, leading up to and during the period where it guided a probe into orbit around a comet and dispatched a lander to its surface — both firsts in space exploration. Although the lander Philae could not accomplish its full mission before going into hibernation, the data Rosetta and Philae gathered will immeasurably multiply our knowledge of comets and their contributions to the ingredients of life on Earth.
Following his work on the Rosetta mission, Jansen went on to lead ESA’s Gaia project, a mission which is mapping the position and the movements of stars in our galaxy to an unprecedented precision. As a by-product Gaia is expect to discover and map the orbits of many hitherto unknown solar system objects like asteroids. In addition to this, Jansen continues to oversee ESA’s XMM Newton mission, an orbiting x-ray space observatory delving into the most elusive secrets of the universe, including black holes and dark matter.
Asteroid Day is a global awareness campaign where people from around the world come together to learn about asteroids, the impact hazard they may pose, and what we can do to protect our planet, families, communities, and future generations from future asteroid impacts. Asteroid Day is held each year on the anniversary of the largest impact in recent history, the 1908 Tunguska event in Siberia. Subscribe to our Mailing list