Monday, September 15, 2014

ESA Rosetta Team Select Comet 67/P Landing Zone for Philae Lander

ESA Rosetta Team have announced today that Area J will be the landing zone for Philae Lander in 2 months time.

The Area C was selected for its structure and most interesting topology.

The backup area chosen was Area C. It has similar topology but, as with Area J, it is uneven and carries some risk of damage to the Lander.

“As we have seen from recent close-up images, the comet is a beautiful but dramatic world – it is scientifically exciting, but its shape makes it operationally challenging,” says Stephan Ulamec, Philae Lander Manager at the DLR German Aerospace Center.

“None of the candidate landing sites met all of the operational criteria at the 100% level, but Site J is clearly the best solution.”

Jean-Pierre Bibring
“We will make the first ever in situ analysis of a comet at this site, giving us an unparalleled insight into the composition, structure and evolution of a comet,” says Jean-Pierre Bibring, a lead lander scientist and principal investigator of the CIVA instrument at the IAS in Orsay, France.

“Site J in particular offers us the chance to analyse pristine material, characterise the properties of the nucleus, and study the processes that drive its activity.”

Area C. Credit: ESA

3D image of Area C. Credit: ESA

ESA Rosetta Team show a list of scientific investigations that will be attempted while the Philae Lander is in situ on the Comet 67/P.

ESA Rosetta Team explain to the world press the selection process and the scientific experiments that will form a major part of the project to land Philae on the comet. 

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