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15/7/2020  
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R&D
Historic landing on comet

ESA´s Rosetta mission soft-lands its Philae probe on a comet


The ESA has confirmed that the spacecraft is now on the comet´s surface. The on-board CIVA-P panoramic imaging system will catch images of the comet. Scientists now hope that Rosetta´s findings will help solve some of the mysteries about how the solar system was formed.
Ibercampus 13/11/2014 Send to a friend
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After a tense wait during the seven-hour descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, the signal confirming the successful touchdown arrived on Earth at 16:03 GMT (17:03 CET).

The confirmation was relayed via the Rosetta orbiter to Earth and picked up simultaneously by ESA’s ground station in Malargüe, Argentina and NASA’s station in Madrid, Spain. The signal was immediately confirmed at ESA’s Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Darmstadt, and DLR’s Lander Control Centre in Cologne, both in Germany.

The first data from the lander’s instruments were transmitted to the Philae Science, Operations and Navigation Centre at France’s CNES space agency in Toulouse.

Scientists now hope that Rosetta´s findings will help solve some of the mysteries about how the solar system was formed. The study of elements, which make up the comet, should give the team an insight into the "very earliest beginnings of our solar system."




Next year, as the comet grows more active, Rosetta will need to step further back and fly unbound ‘orbits’, but dipping in briefly with daring flybys, some of which will bring it within just 8 km of the comet centre.

The comet will reach its closest distance to the Sun on 13 August 2015 at about 185 million km, roughly between the orbits of Earth and Mars. Rosetta will follow it throughout the remainder of 2015, as they head away from the Sun and activity begins to subside.

“It’s been an extremely long and hard journey to reach today’s once-in-a-lifetime event, but it was absolutely worthwhile. We look forward to the continued success of the great scientific endeavour that is the Rosetta mission as it promises to revolutionise our understanding of comets,” said Fred Jansen, ESA Rosetta mission manager.

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