Rosetta spacecraft to land probe on comet – and make scientific history

LIVE UPDATES – Go-go-go! Rosetta’s Philae lander descent to comet surface, on Russia Today RT, Nov 12, 2014!

Published on The, by KITTY KNOWLES, Nov 9, 2014.

Dutch astrophysicist Dr Fred Jansen is no stranger to the difficulties of space exploration. He led the team that put an X-ray observatory in orbit in the 1990s, and has since overseen exploration operations to Mars and Venus. But the Rosetta mission manager described his latest challenge as the most difficult yet.

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.”

Previous missions to planets like Mars have been far less complex, said Dr Jansen, as ESA has already known about the objects, their densities and their atmospheres. With Rosetta this wasn’t the case,” he said, “It’s like the mission impossible because you are trying to achieve something at an object, where you don’t know what the object is like.”

Even the unusual double-lobed shape of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was not discovered until the orbiter returned images earlier this year … //

… Dr Jansen said that landing on the comet will offer “a unique opportunity to study a deep-frozen version of the solar system as it was four billion years ago”.

“It links measurements we can do today with what was present when earth and life on earth emerged,” he said. The Rosetta orbiter will continue to study the comet for over a year after the Philae’s release.

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Related Links:

  • Demonstrating Rosetta’s Philae lander on the Space Station, 8.04 min, uploaded by European Space Agency, ESA, Nov 7, 2014: ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst performs a demonstration of how ESA’s Rosetta mission will attempt to put a lander, called ‘Philae’ on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko …;
  • Rosetta – A Lesson on Comets, 86.03 min, uploaded by NASA, Oct 10, 2014: On October 9, as part of the Von Karman Lecture Series at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Manager of the US Rosetta Project, Art Chmielewski discussed comets and how they have inspired awe and wonder since the dawn of history. In November, the Rosetta spacecraft will attempt to become the first spacecraft to soft-land a robot on a comet – named 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The ten year Rosetta mission seeks to learn more about the origins of our universe by studying the comet;
  • CHASING A COMET – The Rosetta Mission, 9.08 min, uploaded by DLRde, Jan 15, 2014: “It´s the first time we do anything like that. The environment is totally unknown.” (Andrea Accomazzo, Spacecraft Operations Manager). Among the most fascinating projects in the exploration of the Universe is the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, launched in 2004 to investigate the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. For the first time, a spacecraft will follow a comet as it approaches the Sun and land on its nucleus …;
  • on en.wikipedia: Rosetta (spacecraft) is a robotic space probe built and launched by the European Space Agency ESA to perform a detailed study of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko with both an orbiter and lander module; /See also; /External Links;

Other Links:

Der globale Konzern-Faschismus: Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership TTIP, auf Humanitarian Texts, Nov 9, 2014;

Berlin Wall: Balloons replace barbed wire as illuminated installation marks route 25 years after the fall, on The (picture-file), by Tom Beck, Nov 8, 2014;

Response to Interim Report: Review of Australia’s Welfare System, on Basic Income Earth Network BIEN, by Karl Widerquist, Nov 6, 2014: SUMMARY: Changes to Australia’s income support system over time have resulted in unintended complexities, inconsistencies and disincentives for some people to work …; download the report by Judith S. Willis, August 2014, 16 pdf-pages;

Solar’s Global Growth, on Green Builder, by Wyatt C. King, May 29, 2014.

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