Did Rosetta land on comet 67P? ESA mission probe briefly bounced off but has just touched down again

first_img Show Comments ▼ Did Rosetta land on comet 67P? ESA mission probe briefly bounced off but has just touched down again whatsapp whatsapp Sarah Spickernell Share Humankind landed a spacecraft on a comet for the first time ever yesterday – and has now done it again. The European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta landing probe touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after spending seven hours descending from the mothership, sending a confirmation signal to Earth at 16:05 UK time yesterday.   It was a huge breakthrough for all those working on the project at the agency’s mission control centre in the German city Darmstadt – Rosetta has spent the last ten years travelling through the solar system to get ready for this moment, and has chased the comet over a cumulative distance of 6.4bn km during that time. It has cost the ESA a total of $1.75bn (€1.12bn), but there was every chance the landing would not be successful. The target landing zone for the comet was considered to be very challenging due to its uneven terrain of cliffs, boulders and steep slopes.  But shortly after the good news was received, ESA engineers realised the landing probe had bounced hundreds of metres back up off the surface after first touching down.  Now, after a tense few hours of waiting, scientists have received a second signal letting them know that the Philae has re-attached itself to the comet’s surface.The purpose of the mission is no small piece of scientific research. Named after the code-breaking Rosetta stone which helped archaeologists decipher the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphs in the 1800s, it is hoped Rosetta will translate some of the secrets of the universe into explanations for the origin of comets, the solar system and possibly even of life on Earth.   But to find answers to these important questions, Rosetta has to be physically present on the comet, which is why this touchdown was so crucial.  “Now it is vital to analyse the comet’s interior, since it contains the initial composition of the solar system from when it was formed 4.5bn years ago. It might also contain amino acids such as glycine and other complex molecules,” said astronomer Daniel Brown at Nottingham Trent University. “These results will allow us to improve models for the solar system and to better understand how a planet becomes habitable.” During the landing, Rosetta and its Philae kept us up-to-date via their Twitter conversation at @ESA_Rosetta and @Philae2014. Here are a few of our favourite tweets: https://twitter.com/Philae2014/status/532593337585651713 https://twitter.com/Philae2014/status/532547743206875136 https://twitter.com/ESA_Rosetta/status/532565327721545728 Thursday 13 November 2014 5:07 am Ad Unmute by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryUndoNational Penny For Seniors7 Discounts Seniors Only Get If They AskNational Penny For SeniorsUndoTele Health DaveRemember Pierce Brosnan’s Wife? Take A Deep Breath Before You See What She Looks Like NowTele Health DaveUndoThe No Cost Solar ProgramGet Paid To Install Solar + Tesla Battery For No Cost At Install and Save Thousands.The No Cost Solar ProgramUndoMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekUndoEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity MirrorUndoLoan Insurance WealthDolly Parton, 74, Takes off Makeup, Leaves Us With No WordsLoan Insurance WealthUndoPast Factory4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!Past FactoryUndoPost FunKate & Meghan Are Very Different Mothers, These Photos Prove ItPost FunUndo Tags: European Space Agencylast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *