6 Things The ESA Rosetta Mission & People Trying To Quit Smoking Have In Common


As I am sure you have already heard a little lander by the name of Philae has touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, wayhey!!! Wayhey indeed, This extraordinary feat of space exploration marked a key moment in mankind’s history books. If we take a little trip back to 1969 Man successfully managed to send the very first humans to the Moon. This was an amazing achievement for the time especially when you take into consideration that an average singing birthday cards you can purchase at any high street card shop has more processing power than that of the Apollo 11 module. In the 35 years that followed, Mans curiosity and drive to explore the stars never wavered and in 2004 a robotic space probe was built and launched by the European Space Agency to perform a detailed study of the comet. Ten years later on the 12 November at 10:30 am ET, Philae successfully landed tweeting out “”Touchdown! My new address: 67P!”.

Below are 6 things that the ESA Rosetta mission and people trying to quit smoking have in common:

The Journey

The Rosetta space probe had a long journey since its launch in 2004 and took ten long years and 6.4 billion miles to reach its goal, the 67P comet. Like the space probe a person trying to quit smoking has a long journey in front of them, hopefully not a ten year one! While some people will have shorter journeys than others be prepared to go the distance and always keep that goal in clear sight.


There Are Bound To Be Hiccups Along The Way

“Houston, we’ve had a problem,”. As with many space missions there have always been problems and challenges in which we have had to overcome in order to continue and move forward in our quest to explore space.

Once Philae had separated from the mother ship Rosetta and made its final voyage hurdling through space towards its new home it failed to engage its thruster and also failed to fire the harpoons which were designed to keep it securely fixed to the comet.

Any smoker who is trying to quit will undoubtedly encounter some “hiccups” of their own. The key is to overcome these obstacles as and when they appear taking each one a single step at a time. Only by hitting these obstacles on your journey can you truly learn how to effective avoid them moving forward.

It May Take Multiple Attempts

Due to the failure to launch the harpoons the Philae took 3 attempts before it eventually made a complete landing, bouncing off the comet twice before finally resting around half a mile away from its original destination.

While it would be great for every smoker to quit first time the matter of the fact is this is unlikely to happen. Expect relapses, learn from them and try again. It is a common thought that a relapse is a failure however this could not be further from the truth, these so called ‘failures’  help a smoker to learn what and what doesn’t work and allows them to re-adjust their next quit smoking strategy hopefully resulting in a better outcome.


Planning Is Vital                                  

One day the European Space Agency didn’t just decide that that afternoon it would be a great idea to launch a probe into space and hoped it reached the target comet. The mission to land Philae to 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko took years of careful planning. Planning ensures that things go smoothly and if they don’t you have a backup plan in order to get things back on track. As we have already discussed above due to the harpoons failure to launch Philae ended up in the wrong neighbourhood of the comet and it is thought that it could have landed in a cave or some kind of ditch. The main problem that has arose from this is that Philae relies on solar power to charge it batteries and being stuck in a hole it is not going to get a lot of light. Being the fine scientists they are the people back at the European Space Agency have planned for such events and will have already got some ideas together to rescue Philae before it finally runs out of power and dies.

The same applies for people who are trying to quit smoking . Just going out on a whim and trying to quit one day without having some sort of plan or strategy will often result in relapse. Now relapsing isn’t always bad as we have already talked about, however without a plan or strategy a smoker can fall into the trap of making the same mistakes multiple times resulting in a lack of motivation and therefore returning to cigarettes.

The Feeling of Being Alone

On its 10 year trip Philae was travelling alone throughout the vast darkness of space. Just like Philae sometimes smokers who are trying to quit feel alone on their quit smoking journey. Some smokers find that if they have a quit buddy who is also a smoker, having that someone who they can talk to who is also going through the same experience is a great help. Also quitting with a friend also provides that little boost of extra motivation as both smokers will not want to return to smoking therefore letting their quit buddy down.


The Impossible Task Made Possible

The very talk of landing on a comet that is 6.4 billion miles away from Earth and is travelling at speeds of around 135,000 kilometres per hour sounds impossible right? BUT it has been done. For smokers that have been smoking for a long period of their lives the very thought of giving up could seem like an impossible task, however as the successful touchdown of Philae proves anything is possible.

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