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Polar Maritime

ESA's Rosetta spacecraft will make history by dropping a probe onto the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

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   Using detailed information collected by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft during its first two weeks at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, five locations have been identified as candidate sites to set down the Philae lander in November – the first time a landing on a comet has ever been attempted.


Before arrival, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko had never been seen close up and so the race to find a suitable landing site for the 100 kg lander could only begin when Rosetta rendezvoused with the comet on 6 August.


The landing is expected to take place in mid-November when the comet is about 450 million km from the Sun, before activity on the comet reaches levels that might jeopardise the safe and accurate deployment of Philae to the comet’s surface, and before surface material is modified by this activity. http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Rosetta_Landing_site_search_narrows


Edited by Polar Maritime
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I think it's an amazing thing to even contemplate.  The planning that went into this is phenomenal.

 

To manage to get to, and match orbits with the comet in the first place is a stupendous achievement, to top it off with a landing will be even more so.

 

As for the comet, ugly little beast isn't it?

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Amazing stuff indeed, and the knowledge gained (if all goes well) should help for the future, be it protection or collection.

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A NASA instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s (ESA's) Rosetta orbiter has successfully made its first delivery of science data from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The instrument, named Alice, began mapping the comet’s surface last month, recording the first far-ultraviolet light spectra of the comet’s surface. From the data, the Alice team discovered the comet is unusually dark -- darker than charcoal-black -- when viewed in ultraviolet wavelengths.  Alice also detected both hydrogen and oxygen in the comet’s coma, or atmosphere.

Rosetta scientists also discovered the comet’s surface so far shows no large water-ice patches. The team expected to see ice patches on the comet’s surface because it is too far away for the sun’s warmth to turn its water into vapor.

More here: http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/september/nasa-instrument-aboard-european-spacecraft-returns-first-science-results/#.VAsievldXfJ

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COMET ON 5 SEPTEMBER 2014
Comet_on_5_September_2014_node_full_imag
DETAILS arw_red_on.gif
  • Title Comet on 5 September 2014
  • Released 08/09/2014 5:00 pm
  • Copyright see below
  • Description

    Jagged cliffs and prominent boulders are visible in this image taken by OSIRIS, Rosetta’s scientific imaging system, on 5 September 2014 from a distance of 62 kilometres from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The left part of the image shows a side view of the comet’s 'body', while the right is the back of its 'head'. One pixel corresponds to 1.1 metres. http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2014/09/Comet_on_5_September_2014

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"J" Marks the spot..

 

Philae_s_primary_landing_site_large.jpg

Philae’s primary landing site
 
‘J’ MARKS THE SPOT FOR ROSETTA’S LANDER
15 September 2014

Rosetta’s lander Philae will target Site J, an intriguing region on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko that offers unique scientific potential, with hints of activity nearby, and minimum risk to the lander compared to the other candidate sites.

Site J is on the ‘head’ of the comet, an irregular shaped world that is just over 4 km across at its widest point. The decision to select Site J as the primary site was unanimous. The backup, Site C, is located on the ‘body’ of the comet.

The 100 kg lander is planned to reach the surface on 11 November, where it will perform indepth measurements to characterise the nucleus in situ, in a totally unprecedented way.

But choosing a suitable landing site has not been an easy task.    http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/J_marks_the_spot_for_Rosetta_s_lander

 
 

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More jets from Rosetta's comet!

Here's a lovely new view of Rosetta's comet, taken on September 19 (yes, today!). I have a new technique for processing Rosetta pictures to get the most out of the jets -- I'll explain below. First, enjoy this glorious new photo! I particularly like how the shadows on the part of the comet that is closer to the viewer are black black black, but if you look at the shadowed regions behind the neck you can see they are less black because we are looking at them through a faint comet jet.

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The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission will deploy its lander, Philae, to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November.


Philae’s landing site, currently known as Site J, is located on the smaller of the comet’s two ‘lobes’, with a backup site on the larger lobe. The sites were selected just six weeks after Rosetta arrived at the comet on 6 August, following its 10-year journey through the Solar System


In that time, the Rosetta mission has been conducting an unprecedented scientific analysis of the comet, a remnant of the Solar System’s 4.6 billion-year history. The latest results from Rosetta will be presented on the occasion of the landing, during dedicated press briefings.


The main focus to date has been to survey 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in order to prepare for the first ever attempt to soft-land on a comet. http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Rosetta_to_deploy_lander_on_12_November


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Its starting to get interesting now!

Rosetta_mission_selfie_at_16_km-580x580.

The Philae spacecraft takes a selfie Oct. 7 with its target, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, from an altitude of about 9.9 miles (16 kilometers). Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

So this spacecraft — taking this picture — is going to land on the surface of THAT comet. Doesn’t this give you a pit in your stomach? This is a selfie taken from the Philae spacecraft that, riding piggyback, captured the side of the Rosetta spacecraft orbiting  Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.The image is so close-up — just 9.9 miles (16 kilometers) from 67P’s surface — that mission planners can even spot Landing Site J on the comet’s smaller lobe.Tomorrow (Oct. 15), mission managers will announce if Site J is go or no go for a landing. More information is coming from Rosetta’s examination of the site from itsnew, lower altitude of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers).

http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/10/14/mission-selfie-from-16-km/

Edited by Polar Maritime

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Yes pretty amazing pictures there in detail. Cant wait for the landing!

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Fingers crossed, Lets hope for a clean landing tomorrow.

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Have they brought it forward from the planned schedule of Wednesday?

Edited by Crepuscular Ray

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Nope, I've just got my dates mixed up  :D  I hope it all goes to plan anyway :ninja:

 

Pretty amazing milestone in space exploration if it does..

Edited by Polar Maritime

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Nope, I've just got my dates mixed up  :D  I hope it all goes to plan anyway :ninja:

 

Pretty amazing milestone in space exploration if it does..

You're too young for senior moments! Don't we all and yes, it is.

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On Wednesday, the European Space Agency will try to do the equivalent of transferring an object from one speeding bullet to another. More than 500m km away from Earth, between Jupiter and Mars, a probe named the Philae lander will be ejected from the Rosetta spacecraft and land on a comet for the first time in scientific history.

“The comet and Rosetta are flying through space at 60,000km an hour,†said Dr Jansen, “In many, many aspects this is an absolute first.â€

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/rosetta-spacecraft-to-land-probe-on-comet--and-make-scientific-history-9849302.html

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This month's Sky at Night is an hour-long special on Wednesday's landing, on next Sunday at 21.00 on BBC4.

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Thanks for the heads up on that CR, I can't wait it's going to be a very tense day indeed.

Edited by Polar Maritime

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Going to be an interesting week :)

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Both ESA TV and NASA TV will be carrying live coverage on the web on the day itself.

Edited by Crepuscular Ray

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Not long to wait now..

 

HISTORIC COMET LANDING TOMORROW: The European Space Agency is about to make history: On Nov. 12th, it is going to land on a comet. The action begins Wednesday at 08:35 UT when ESA's Rosetta spacecraft drops a probe named "Philae" onto the core of Comet 67P. This video shows what happens next:

splash2.jpg

In the past, nations of Earth have landed on planets, moons, and asteroids, but never before on a comet. This is an important and daring first. "A comet is unlike any other planetary body that we've attempted to land on," says Claudia Alexander of the US Rosetta Project at JPL. "Getting Philae down successfully will be an incredible achievement for humankind."

"How hard is this landing?" asks Art Chmielewski, the US Rosetta Project Manager. "Consider this: The comet will be moving 40 times faster than a speeding bullet, spinning, shooting out gas and welcoming Rosetta on the surface with boulders, cracks, scarps and possibly meters of dust!"

Philae will take 7 hours to fall 22.5 km from the spacecraft to the comet--an interval some mission scientists are calling "The Seven Hours of Terror." Confirmation of the landing will reach ground stations on Wednesday at approximately 1600 UT. You can follow the descent as it happens by tuning in to ESA's #CometLanding webcasthttp://spaceweather.com/

Edited by Polar Maritime
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Some very interesting commentary here live http://new.livestrea...SA/cometlanding, Separation of the lander has been successful & communication working fine! Hopefully touchdown around 4pm.

 

Rosetta_comet_landing_highlight_large.jp

Edited by Polar Maritime
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