For the first time in human history, a man made spacecraft will settle into orbit around a comet in an attempt to study the makeup of the comet and possibly gain some insight into the origin of life.

The European Space Agency's Rosetta Spacecraft will rendezvous with Comet 67p/Churyumov-Gerasimenko sometime after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, ending a 4 billion mile journey that began in March 2004.

Rosetta is the first mission of its kind, and will orbit the comet's nucleus, accompanying it as it heads into the inner Solar System to study how the Sun affects comets.

Once in position, Rosetta will release a lander that will tether itself to the surface of the comet, becoming the first time a manmade object has made a controlled connection with a comet. The lander will take images and drill 20 cm into the surface and analyze the samples microscopically.

For more information check out this article by Lisa Winter on

To watch the rendezvous visit the ESA website.