Rubber does bounce. #67/p #philae #rosetta

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/nov/12/rosetta-mission-philae-historic-landing-comet

When the Europe Space Agency saw the comet in detail a few weeks ago, it was a little upsetting. Rather than the usual ’roundish’ shape, this comet was very clearly shaped like a rubber duck. This was going to make the landing difficult. But today they soft-landed their Philae probe onto the comet. Undoubtedly this image will be one of the most memorable of this campaign as the washing-machine sized probe started it journey onto the surface, capping a ten-year, four-billion-mile journey.

However there was one glitch. As comets are not really ‘solid’ they have a unusual and somewhat unpredictable gravity. The plan was to fire grappling hooks and grab onto the comet upon landing. However, the harpoons failed to fire and so the probe bounced. At least once. Maybe more. It did send a signal so it looks alive. And it has missed the boulders, cliffs and gas-venting cracks in the vicinity. We’ll know more over the next few days as we communicate with the Rosetta mothership, still in orbit around the comet.

Then, onto drilling and the search for water.

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13 comments on “Rubber does bounce. #67/p #philae #rosetta

  1. When I frist saw the video of the news, i thought it was pretty cool the space agency was able to land in a comet when it seemed impossible. This accomplishment means a new opportunity to know more about these objects, and the Solar System in general.

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  2. Pingback: The only way to travel? #SpaceTravel #SolarSails | AMacroJot

  3. I have read that the probe has already collected a lot of data from the comet and sent back to Earth. But scientists were not sure if it could switch to solar power because it didn’t land how it was supposed to. I think that knowing that we can land on comets now is extremely beneficial for the future of astronomical discovery. But hopefully the probe lasts in order to make more discoveries about bodies outside of Earth!

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  4. What I think that it is pretty cool landing on the comet and we can finally learn how our solar system has formed when they are drilling through comet and see if there is water in it. Also when they are drilling through the comet they can determine the material in it as well. We should start landing on more comets to see if there are different material substance in it.

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  5. I can’t imagine what it was like to wait ten years for the lander to finally reach its destination on the surface of this comet, then having to wait seven hours to know if they had been successful in landing. Now for gathering data, and learning more about the make-up of the solar system and perhaps our earth.

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  6. If you think about the size of the comet than it is easy to understand that it was a hard target to land on and how much data there will be in the future given that nothing happens to the rover. Although per day their probably wont be more than an hour of data recorded because the rover needs to constantly power up but it will still be very interesting to see what awaits on this comet.

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  7. Thats not luck, the only word that explains that landing is skill. Exceptional skill took that landing to a great level of success. It must of felt like hitting the game winning shot with time expiring except ten times more! Especially the time it took to have this whole process come together and reach the goal youve been so patiently waiting for. Keep it up to whoever hit that shot cant wait to see what we will find out next.

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  8. It is truly mind-blowing to think that it has taken ten years for the probe to reach the comet. Not to mention that once it was seen as an irregular shape and then have to land on this shape was probably a moment of panic. I’m excited for further discoveries to be made on the comet.

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  9. Its crazy to think that it took ten years to get to this comet. Its interesting to think about the future and how much further we will be able to go out and discover new things, depending on technological advances. The people landing this thing are lucky that they didn’t hit boulders or cliffs as mentioned in the article.

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  10. Oh my goodness I seriously could not imagine the difficulty of having to land a multi million dollar ship on something that may make me bounce. And to have dodged the cliffs, and gasy vents. Somebody got lucky and now has that experience on their resume.

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  11. I can’t imagine the level of difficulty of landing on a piece of icy rock flying through the sky in a highly elliptical orbit. I really want to see some photos!

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