Thursday, November 13, 2014

Philae Lands On Comet But On Uneven Ground, Rosetta Watches.

Philae lander
  • Traveled 6.4 billion km (four billion miles) to reach the comet
  • Journey took 10 years
  • Planning for the journey began 25 years ago
Comet 67P
  • More than four billion years old
  • Mass of 10 billion tonnes
  • Hurtling through space at 18km/s (40,000mph)
  • Shaped like a rubber duck

25 years in the making, and the last 10 years of that in traveling, Rosetta carrying Philae, traveled 4 Billion miles to reach the comet 67P. Yes the feat it self is mind boggling but Philae, did land.
It seems after touching down, Philae rose hundreds of meters above the surface at one stage and remained in flight for nearly two hours. One might say it was airborne, spaceborne as comet has no air.
While Philae was off the surface, the comet will have rotated beneath it. Each rotation takes about 12 hours which means the lander may effectively travelled across one-sixth of the comet's surface. By the time it came down again, the original landing zone - chosen for its relative safety and ideal amount of sunshine - was left far behind. The lander is now in different, undetermined area that may prove far more hazardous.It will receive much less sun than originally expected. But scientists are happy as they already received more data and the mission itself is a huge educational task.

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