Philae landed on comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko: follow the news!
On November 12, 2014 and after 10 years of travel, the European Space Agency (ESA) carried out the first unmanned descent and landing on the surface of a comet’s nucleus. Here you can find some links to follow this mission and get detailed information about Rosetta and Philae.
The Philae lander detached from Rosetta spacecraft and performed a soft landing on a selected area –recently named Agilkia– of comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This was not a fast landing event, like the Curiosity rover on 2012. Actually was a complicate manoeuvre and pretty slow (7-hour) descent.
Top left image: close-up of the region containing Philae’s primary landing site Agilkia, which is located on the ‘head’ of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (see more details here).
Image: comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, by Rosetta.
ESA has confirmed that both the Rosetta and Philae are in perfect conditions. Philae will carry out “elemental, isotopic, molecular and mineralogical composition of the cometary material, the characterization of physical properties of the surface and subsurface material, the large-scale structure and the magnetic and plasma environment of the nucleus” (Bibring et al., 2007). Philae instruments will analyse surface and sub-surface samples, at least during the first five days of mission after touchdown. The lander will rely both on solar power and batteries, so its lifetime could span from several weeks to a maximum of 4-5 months in the best case scenario.
Images of the landing site:
– Agikilia global view
– Agikilia detailed view
– The best 10 images (so far, before Philae landing) of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Rosetta and Philae in social media
– Facebook page of Rosetta
– Twitter page of Rosetta
– Twitter page of Philae
– Twitter page of ESA
– Twitter page of ESA Science
– Twitter page of ESA Operations
– REE feed of Rosetta-Philae
– Location of Rosetta in the solar system (interactive)– Main ESA website
– Brochure about Rosetta-Philae (ESA)
– Rosetta coverage in Science Magazine
– A good article explaining the difficulties of landing on the surface of a comet (Nature News)