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Quote of the day

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.

 

Carl Sagan

The Rosetta Spacecraft Is Our First Asteroid Lander

RATE THIS! +85
Posted in Science on 15th Oct, 2013 12:13 AM by AlexMuller

While NASA’s asteroid-capturing mission remains grounded from a lack of Congressional funding, a similar and equally ambitious ESA program is nearing fruition. In the coming months, the Rosetta spacecraft and its integrated Philae probe will become the first man-made objects to not only orbit an asteroid but land on it as well. Here’s how they’ll do it.

 

The European Space Agency began work on the Rosetta spacecraft in the early 1990s as part of the Horizon 2000 missions, and launched the spacecraft towards its target, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, in March of 2004 aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. For nearly a decade, the spacecraft has slowly wound its way to towards the asteroid but is expected to finally arrive in November of next year.
 
Once the Rosetta reaches 67P, it will spend an additional 17 months orbiting the asteroid. The Rosetta orbiter packs a dozen instruments including various infrared, ultraviolet, optical, and spectroscopic imaging systems as well as microwave and radar sounders and a variety of gas and particle analysers. These systems will allow the orbiter to study both the surface structure and core of the asteroid—as well as its chemical composition—before attempting the a risky landing manoeuvre with the Philae probe.


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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-15
+6
Congratulations to the ESA on this one. I did not know about the 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, I suppose back in 2004 if I heard about it, did not take it seriously. But it seems as if it is going to complete its mission. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-15
+5
Actually the 67P is the asteroid and the Rosetta spacecraft is what is going to land on it sorry about that one, too early in the morning and not enough coffee yet. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-15
+5
The Rosetta will orbit the 67P for 17 months before landing on it. WOW Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-15
+2
The ESA Rosetta spacecraft and its integrated Philae probe will become the first man-made objects to not only orbit an asteroid but land on it as well. That is amazing and the future of the information that will be gathered will certainly be helpful. Reply


 

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