Comply with The Rosetta Area Mission To Land On A Comet
The European Area Company is within the midst of trying a primary of its variety area mission: to land a probe on a comet. You possibly can comply with the lander’s progress by way of the ESA stay weblog right here. And on Twitter, by way of the #CometLanding hashtag.
The mission began again in 2004, when Fb was a mere twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye, taking a decade for the Rosetta area probe to succeed in Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which it lastly did on August 6 this yr.
Present mission standing: ready for affirmation of the separation of Rosetta’s Philae lander, which — all being nicely — will contact down on the floor of the comet after descending over a interval of round seven hours. Replace: Philae’s separation has now been confirmed.
One present complication for a profitable touchdown is that a thruster on Philae has been discovered to be defective so the lander should depend on two harpoon anchors to remain lodged on the comet. Nail biting stuff!
The touchdown website, generally known as Website J, is situated on the smaller of the comet’s two ‘lobes’, and was chosen six weeks in the past, after Rosetta had had time to survey its goal up shut.
Affirmation of whether or not Philae touched down as deliberate is predicted to reach at Earth at round sixteen:00 GMT/08:00 PT.
Why land on a comet? The mission goals to conduct probably the most detailed research of a comet ever, together with looking for natural compounds — aka the constructing blocks for life — with a view to check theories that comets have been liable for delivering water to Earth and maybe even kick beginning life on our planet.