Top of the month: Rosetta space mission leaves Kim Kardashian seeing stars

It was a story to rival the best Hollywood sci-fi, but this real-life space mission became a global media phenomenon.

Top of the month: Rosetta space mission leaves Kim Kardashian seeing stars

Last month, the Rosetta spacecraft finally completed its ten-year, four billion-mile journey to launch a probe on a comet measuring just 2.2 miles by 2.5 miles that was hurtling through space at 34,000 miles per hour.

Like any good space movie there were plenty of nervous moments before the Philae probe landed, providing a gripping narrative to the European Space Agency’s endeavour and helping to excite media and public.

Broadcasters and newspapers used ESA’s graphics and footage taken from the craft, and many focused on jubilant scenes from the operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany. The mission did have one notable PR hiccup when comet scientist Dr Matt Taylor was pilloried for wearing a shirt that featured scarily clad women. He later issued a tearful apology, admitting his "big mistake".

But this does not detract from the overall spectacle. Research by The Wall Street Journal found that special media interest in the event far exceeded Kim Kardashian’s bid to "break the internet" through her revealing pictures; the former generated 479,434 tweets, the latter 307,782, with sentiment towards Rosetta also much more favourable.

Science 1, Celebrity 0.

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