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Archive for the ‘Comets’ Category

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Historic Landing Timeline: Crosshairs on a Comet

November 7th, 2014

  The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft is set to deploy its Philae lander for a first-time touchdown on a comet. On November 11-12, Philae is set to separate from Rosetta at 09:03 GMT (10:03 CET) and touch down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at about 16:02 GMT (17:02 CET). A timeline of the most crucial activities […]

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Drop Zone! Crosshairs on a Comet

October 9th, 2014

Europe’s Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is nearing a nail-biting moment – when the Philae lander is to be unleashed for a touchdown on the celestial wanderer. The primary landing site is landing site “J” – a spot that has relatively flat terrain and good solar illumination. There is a detailed timetable for the descent […]

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Comet Landing Spot Selected

September 15th, 2014

The European Space Agency has picked a spot for the Philae lander touchdown on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. According to ESA, Site J offers unique scientific potential, with hints of activity nearby, and minimum risk to the lander compared to the other candidate sites. Site J is on the ‘head’ of the comet. The backup landing zone, […]

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The Arrival: Rosetta Comet Mission

August 5th, 2014

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft was launched in 2004 and will arrive at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on August 6 – a 10 year long voyage. It will be the first mission in history to rendezvous with a comet, escort it as it orbits the Sun, and deploy a lander to its surface. Rosetta is an […]

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Comets

It’s Alive! Comet Lander Ready for Action

March 28th, 2014

The Philae comet lander has been successfully reactivated and broke its planned radio silence by sending data to Earth on March 28. Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft — with the Philae lander on board — has been making its way through space since March 2004 to investigate Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. What exactly is to be expected on arrival […]

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