Wednesday, November 12, 2014

ESA Rosetta mission: Philae Lander successfully lands on comet 67/P

European ESA Rosetta probes's robot lander, Philae has made the first, historic landing on a comet, after descending from its mothership.

The lander touched down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at about 1605 GMT.

There were cheers and hugs at the control room in Darmstadt, Germany, after the signal was confirmed.

It was designed to shine a light on some of the mysteries of these icy relics from the formation of the Solar System.

The landing caps a 6.4 billion-kilometre journey that was begun a decade ago.

"This is a big step for human civilisation," said Jean-Jacques Dordain, the director-general of the European Space Agency (Esa).

Shortly after the touchdown was confirmed, Stephan Ulamec, the mission's lander chief, said: "Philae is talking to us... we are on the comet."

The robot deployed harpoons to fasten itself to the 2.5-mile-wide ball of ice and dust.

Scientists will use Philae to take pictures of the comet's landscape and to analyse its chemical composition.

They are hoping the its surface materials will hold fresh insights into the origins of our Solar System more than 4.5 billion years ago.

No comments:

Post a Comment