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Rosetta Wakes Up

comets churyumov-gerasimenko rosetta philae esa

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16 replies to this topic

#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 06:23 PM

The European Space Agency have just received a signal from Rosetta confirming that it has successfully emerged from its long hibernation.

I will post more details when they become available.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#2    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 06:50 PM

ESA’s ‘sleeping beauty’ wakes up from deep space hibernation


www.esa.int said:

20 January 2014  It was a fairy-tale ending to a tense chapter in the story of the Rosetta space mission this evening as ESA heard from its distant spacecraft for the first time in 31 months.

Rosetta is chasing down Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where it will become the first space mission to rendezvous with a comet, the first to attempt a landing on a comet’s surface, and the first to follow a comet as it swings around the Sun.  

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"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#3    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 09:34 PM


Rosetta calls home

Video highlight showing receipt of signal from ESA's Rosetta comet chaser after 31 months of deep-space hibernation. Teams at ESA's operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany, leapt for joy as the signal was confirmed via NASA's 70m tracking stations in California and Australia.

Credit: ESA

Source: ESA - Space in Videos

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#4    Xynoplas

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:36 PM

Yay. That would have been a bummer if she stayed asleep.

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#5    ancient astronaut

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 04:13 PM

High-Fives all the way around. That would have been awkward if it was doa.


#6    Calibeliever

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:25 PM

Back in the late 80's I had the priveledge to work with some very smart people who were planning Mars missions. I have a small sense of what a huge accomplishment this is. Congratulations all around and very well done.


#7    Rhino666

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:47 PM

I'm surprised any man made material can survive in the freeze for that long. Let alone any delicate electronics.


#8    Sundew

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 07:08 PM

There is no way to tell how large the comet was originally, but it sure seems like after several billion years it would have "evaporated" long ago with every pass near the sun. I realize it's not a sun grazer and is pretty far out in space at it's closest but it must loose some material with each pass.


#9    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 07:14 PM

View PostRhino666, on 21 January 2014 - 05:47 PM, said:

I'm surprised any man made material can survive in the freeze for that long. Let alone any delicate electronics.

Although the spacecraft was in hibernation, with all it's scientific instruments switched off and no communications with Earth for 31 months, it's computer periodically commanded heaters to warm the electronic to prevent them freezing.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#10    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 07:31 PM

View PostSundew, on 21 January 2014 - 07:08 PM, said:

but it sure seems like after several billion years it would have "evaporated" long ago with every pass near the sun.

You seem to be making two assumptions here:
  • the comet is made up totally of volatile material
  • the comet has been in an orbit close to the sun for billions of years.

Both these assumptions are wrong.

Whilst comets contain a large amount of volatile material some of these "dirty snowballs" are more dirt than snow. In fact 6% of Near Earth asteroids are believed to be extinct comets, so a substantial amount of material can remain even after the volatiles have boiled off.

Secondly Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has not been in it's current orbit for long. In fact it's current orbit only dates back to February 1959 when Jupiter changed it's perihelion distance from 2.7 AU to it's present 1.3 AU. Prior to an encounter with Jupiter in 1840 it's perihelion distance was greater than 4 AU, which is too distant for volatiles to boil off.

So rather than millions of encounters with the Sun over billion years, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has only had a few encounters with the Sun close enough to boil off the volatile material in the last 174 years.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 21 January 2014 - 07:31 PM.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#11    stevemagegod

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 01:42 AM

Quote

Rosetta's destination is a comet that is thought to be 4.6 billion years old and comes from a time before the Earth even existed and the sun was in its infancy.

I can't even fathom something older than Planet Earth other than the Universe itself.


#12    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 01:49 AM

View Poststevemagegod, on 22 January 2014 - 01:42 AM, said:

I can't even fathom something older than Planet Earth other than the Universe itself.

You see something older the the Earth every clear day... the Sun.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#13    coolguy

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 04:33 AM

I hope this is able to land on the comet and not crash in to it


#14    wallarookiller

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:13 AM

View Poststevemagegod, on 22 January 2014 - 01:42 AM, said:

I can't even fathom something older than Planet Earth other than the Universe itself.

I find it rough to think about any of it. Whether the vast reaches of the universe or the insane amount of time that has been and will be.


#15    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:31 PM

View Postcoolguy, on 22 January 2014 - 04:33 AM, said:

I hope this is able to land on the comet and not crash in to it
Rosetta itself can't land, but it carries a smaller lander called Philae which can.

The video in THIS POST shows how the landing will occur.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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