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Still Waters

[Merged] First-ever comet landing attempt planned

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Rosetta, a European Space Agency probe, will attempt the historic landing in November 2014 after intercepting a 4km wide ball of dust and ice as it hurtles towards the Sun.

Scientists hope that studying how the comet changes as it moves into the inner solar system will help explain unsolved mysteries about life on Earth, such as how water first arrived on our planet.

http://www.telegraph...et-landing.html

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The bad kids would pack a rock in their snowballs.

So Comets are from super giant bad kids throwing them from the other side of the universe.

Logic trumps the European Space Agency.

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How Rosetta wakes up from deep space hibernation

Visualisation of how the Rosetta spacecraft wakes up from deep space hibernation, 673 million kilometres from the Sun, on 20 January 2014.

Prior to entering hibernation on 8 June 2011, Rosetta was oriented so that its solar arrays faced the Sun, and it began rotating once per minute for stability. The only devices left running were its computer and several heaters.

Rosetta’s computer is programmed to carry out a sequence of events to re-establish contact with the Earth on 20 January, starting with an ‘alarm clock’ at 10:00 GMT. Immediately after, the star trackers begin to warm up. Around 6 hours later the thrusters are fired and the slow rotation stops. A slight adjustment is made to Rosetta’s orientation to ensure that the solar arrays now face the Sun. Then the star trackers switch on to determine its attitude. The spacecraft rotates towards Earth, and the transmitter is switched on. Then Rosetta’s high-gain antenna points to Earth and the signal is sent. The journey takes 45 minutes before the signal is received and mission controllers can begin to check Rosetta’s health, ready for the next phase of the mission.

The first opportunity for receiving a signal on Earth is between 17:30 GMT and 18:30 GMT.

Credit: ESA/ATG medialab; music: B. Lynne.

Source: ESA - Space in Videos

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
corrected source link.

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Philae touch down

Visualisation of the deployment of the Philae lander from Rosetta at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014. Rosetta will come to within 2.5 km of the comet’s surface to deploy Philae, which will then take around 2 hours to reach the surface. Because of the comet’s extremely low gravity, a landing gear will absorb the small forces occurring during landing while ice screws in the probe’s feet and a harpoon system will lock the probe to the surface. At the same time a thruster on top of the lander will push it down to counteract the impulse of the harpoon imparted in the opposite direction. Once it is anchored to the comet, the lander will begin its primary science mission, based on its 64-hour initial battery lifetime. Then it will use solar cells to recharge and attempt to operate for several further weeks to months, depending on the activity of the comet and how quickly the solar cells are covered in dust.

Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

Source: ESA - Space in Videos

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http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/174951-esas-rosetta-spacecraft-is-about-to-complete-its-decade-long-mission-by-landing-on-a-comet

ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft is about to complete its decade-long mission by landing on a comet

rosetta-640x353.jpg

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The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft has spent the last decade winding its way around the Solar System. It has been slingshotting around planets and picking up speed to complete its mission — to be the first spacecraft ever to land on a comet. In just a few days, Rosetta is scheduled to wake up from its long sleep and get ready to make history.

Rosetta was launched way back in March of 2004 with the aim of landing on the 4 km-long comet 67P, which it will rendezvous with near the orbit of Jupiter. But why has it taken so long to get out there? Like most comets, 67P is has built up a lot of speed over the eons of swinging around the Sun. In order to successfully land on its surface, Rosetta needed to match its course and speed almost exactly. It would have been profoundly costly in fuel to do that with a rocket, so the craft has spent these last 10 years lining up four separate gravitational assists from Earth and Mars.

The length of the missions required the solar-powered spacecraft to conserve energy, so it has been in hibernation mode for the last 18 months as it closed in on its target. On January 20, Rosetta is set to wake up. If the ESA doesn’t get the all clear signal from the $1.36 billion probe in a matter of hours, the mission could be over after 10 years of planning. Once it comes online, Rosetta will get its bearings and use thrusters to control its spin to better soak up power with its solar panels.

That is the best I can do but this is pretty cool stuff.

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I can't post like waspie but this is great stuff so bear with me. How cool is this going to be?

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I was wondering how they hoped to land a spacecraft on an object spewing gases (memories of those brave astronauts in "Armageddon"). It turns out the rendezvous will take place way out past the orbit of Mars, so it seems the comet will just be an inert block of ice. Even so, this looks like a fascinating mission. Just the mere fact that the Philae lander will have to secure itself to the comet with harpoons adds to the cool factor.

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Rosetta has also a HD cam onboard so we can expect a lot of nice pictures taken from the orbit of 67P and its surface after Rosetta’s touchdown.

Even it´s a kind of daily routine meanwhile it´s still fascinating how humans can manage to take a high speed spacecraft near to a high speed moving tiny object, and to land on this after a 10 years journey, with that accuracy over a distance of millions of miles.

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We'll know tomorrow, the 20th, if there is still a mission or not. At 10:00am GM, so 5:00 AM EST, the Rosetta is supposed to wake back up.

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Will the lander have a camera? It will be so good to actually see the surface of a comet up close.

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Will the lander have a camera? It will be so good to actually see the surface of a comet up close.

See post #8 :yes:

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