10 years and 6bn kilometres later, space probe lands on a comet

13 replies
  • OFF TOPIC
  • |
In 2004 the European Space Agency launched operation Rosetta to land the space probe Philae on a comet. Today, after journeying a total of 6bn kilometres, it finally touched down. So far, all seems okay, but there are concerns about the harpoons that are designed to secure the probe to the surface.

Comets are composed of material that predates our solar system and one theory holds that they carried water to Earth and even contained the chemistry that seeded life on the planet. The mission hopes to test some of this thinking.

Philae spacecraft makes historic landing on comet | Science | The Guardian


.
#comet #space probe #touchdown
  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    That will be kinda catastrophic if it falls off. I hope they can get those spikes to kick in.
    Signature

    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9665076].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      That will be kinda catastrophic if it falls off. I hope they can get those spikes to kick in.
      Yep. The mission team now have to decide if those harpoons can be commanded to fire without unsteadying the robot still further.

      We should find out in the next day or two.


      ..
      Signature
      TOP TIP: To browse the forum like a Pro, select "View Classic" from the drop-down menu under your user name.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9665120].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I'm still wondering why they didn't stage the launch when the comet was closer in the first place. The article mentions billions of miles when the comet is only hundreds of millions away. Maybe I read it wrong. Anyhow - I hope we get some good pictures. We can rely on Shane to scan for details I'm thinking.
    Signature

    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9665273].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      I'm still wondering why they didn't stage the launch when the comet was closer in the first place. The article mentions billions of miles when the comet is only hundreds of millions away. Maybe I read it wrong. Anyhow - I hope we get some good pictures. We can rely on Shane to scan for details I'm thinking.
      It took the scenic route. I didn't think it had a snowballs chance in hell of succeeding.
      Signature

      Marriage, For The Best Arguments

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9665305].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      I'm still wondering why they didn't stage the launch when the comet was closer in the first place. The article mentions billions of miles when the comet is only hundreds of millions away. Maybe I read it wrong. Anyhow - I hope we get some good pictures. We can rely on Shane to scan for details I'm thinking.
      I'm not sure about the optimum angle of approach, but the satellite had to chase after the comet - which was hurtling through space at a speed of up to 135,000k/ph - then when it caught up with it, the craft had to circle the comet for weeks to find a suitable landing spot.

      Must have been a bit like a greyhound chasing a mechanical hare round a racetrack.

      .
      Signature
      TOP TIP: To browse the forum like a Pro, select "View Classic" from the drop-down menu under your user name.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9665315].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      I'm still wondering why they didn't stage the launch when the comet was closer in the first place. The article mentions billions of miles when the comet is only hundreds of millions away. Maybe I read it wrong. Anyhow - I hope we get some good pictures. We can rely on Shane to scan for details I'm thinking.
      It isn't just a matter of distance. They used the gravity of Earth and Mars to help propel the probe, so the positioning of these two planets played an important role.
      Signature
      Discover the fastest and easiest ways to create your own valuable products.
      Tons of FREE Public Domain content you can use to make your own content, PLR, digital and POD products.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9665326].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Cali16
        This is the first I've heard about comets bringing water to earth - very interesting and compelling theory. Hopefully the probe will be able to secure itself to the comet and we can gain some valuable information from it.

        I think it's amazing it even landed in the first place. Frank's analogy about the greyhound sounds fitting!
        Signature
        If you don't face your fears, the only thing you'll ever see is what's in your comfort zone. ~Anne McClain, astronaut
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9665350].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
          Originally Posted by lanfear63 View Post

          It took the scenic route. I didn't think it had a snowballs chance in hell of succeeding.
          The other reason probably was that the comet would be coughing up to much debri, or tini particles that could have totalled the probe or the one that landed, when closer to Earth.

          So best to find a suitable landing spot when it was still a good distance from our sun.

          Just go see Armageddon, not that big of course but similar idea.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9665483].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author HeySal
        Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

        It isn't just a matter of distance. They used the gravity of Earth and Mars to help propel the probe, so the positioning of these two planets played an important role.
        Thank you. I "get" it now. I knew it had something to do with the vortex motion of the solar system but couldn't figure out quite what it was.
        Signature

        Sal
        When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
        Beyond the Path

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9666211].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Rick Rodd
    The name of the probe is Philae Lander (sounds like philanderer) I hope it stays faithful to the mission.
    Signature
    Please follow our Warrior Forum Rules and Regulations!
    WSO Marketplace Rules[/URL]

    Do You have any Questions, Comments or Suggestions?
    Warrior Forum KnowledgebaseWarrior Forum Help DeskSuggestions Forum
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9666105].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator


    Descent image from Philae lander, then 3km from the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/11...es-the-lander/
    Signature

    "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9666267].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
      Well today's update (14:00 GMT) is that it has landed upside down in a hole with one leg up in the air and sunlight cannot reach the solar panels to charge it. Instead of 6 to 7 hours of sunlight it might get 90 minutes.

      In other words it wont be able to do a thing it was sent to do.

      Rosetta comet landing: live - Telegraph

      They reckon they have 30 hours to try and get it upright and anchored.

      Dan
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9666552].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
      Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post



      Descent image from Philae lander, then 3km from the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
      Yes, the Black Monolith, and Coke can are on the other side!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9666553].message }}

Trending Topics