The effects of spaceflight on a Rosetta plush toy

The Rosetta space probe took more than 10 years to land on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko - but can a Rosetta plush toy survive a journey into the stratosphere?

Aug 10, 2016

The Rosetta space probe spent over 10 years travelling through the solar system to land on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. In doing so, it generated huge amounts of publicity, especially on social media. Rosetta acquired a personality through its twitter account, with regular updates on its mission. A series of cartoons from the European Space Agency documented Rosetta and Philae, it's lander, on their journey through space.

The whole project has been a real success story, not just for the discoveries about comets (including finding organic compounds and the amino acid glycine), but for how to communicate complex scientific findings to the public and particularly engage young people in this research.

This week a Polish team have taken the unusual step of sending a Rosetta plush toy into the stratosphere using a balloon - recreating a key scene from the Rosetta cartoon series. The video, shown above, shows how space research still has the ability to excite us all - sometimes in unexpected ways.

Ben Johnson

Head of Communities & Engagement, Springer Nature

I am Head of Communities & Engagement at Springer Nature with a role to provide training, guidance and support on our online communities. I worked at BioMed Central for 5 years, where I launched and developed new open access journals, including Microbiome, Zoological Letters and Cancer & Metabolism. Before that, I spent 8 years in research with a PhD in influenza virus innate immunity from the University of Reading and Health Protection Agency and then as a postdoc at Imperial College London researching smallpox vaccines, viral ion channels and apoptosis. Please get in touch with any training needs, technical questions or general comments!

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