Tag Archives: Philae

Philae is a robotic European Space Agency lander that accompanied the Rosetta spacecraft until it landed on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, more than ten years after departing Earth.

Philae’s mission was to land successfully on the surface of a comet, attach itself, and transmit data about the comet’s composition. The Rosetta spacecraft and Philae lander were launched on an Ariane 5G+ rocket from French Guiana on 2 March 2004, 07:17 UTC, and travelled for 3,907 days (10.7 years) to Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Unlike the Deep Impact probe, which by design struck comet Tempel 1’s nucleus on 4 July 2005, Philae is not an impactor. Some of the instruments on the lander were used for the first time as autonomous systems during the Mars flyby on 25 February 2007. CIVA, one of the camera systems, returned some images while the Rosetta instruments were powered down, while ROMAP took measurements of the Martian magnetosphere. Most of the other instruments need contact with the surface for analysis and stayed offline during the flyby. An optimistic estimate of mission length following touchdown was “four to five months”.

The scientific goals of the mission focus on “elemental, isotopic, molecular and mineralogical composition of the cometary material, the characterization of physical properties of the surface and subsurface material, the large-scale structure and the magnetic and plasma environment of the nucleus.”

On 12 November 2014, Rosetta soft-landed its Philae probe on the comet, the first time in history that such an extraordinary feat has been achieved. Though Philae’s battery power ran out two days later, because it landed oddly, likely in the shadow of a nearby cliff or crater wall and canted at an angle of around 30 degrees. This made it unable to adequately collect solar power, and it lost contact with Rosetta when its batteries ran out after two days, well before much of the planned science objectives could be attempted. Contact was briefly and intermittently reestablished several months later at various times between 13 June and 9 July, before contact was lost once again. There has been no communication since, and it is highly unlikely that Philae will communicate with ESA again. Communications with Philae were briefly restored in June and July 2015, but due to diminishing solar power, Rosetta’s communications module with the lander was turned off on 27 July 2016. As of 2016, the mission continues to return data from the spacecraft in orbit.

Source: wikipedia

Where Earth’s water came from?

Earth is a blue marble in the space: the water, gives our planet its blue color: about 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered. There is roughly 326 million cubic miles (1.332 billion cubic kilometers) water on the Earth’s surface. Almost 97% of that water is salty (ocean water). But where all that water came from?
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Philae (Rosetta’s Lander) Wakes Up From Hibernation

Good news! ESA’s (European Space Agency) robotic lander Philae finally received enough solar radiation and now is out of hibernation. On the Rosetta blog, the ESA announced that “The signals were received at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt at 22:28 CEST on 13 June. More than 300 data packets have been analysed by the teams at the Lander Control Center at the German Aerospace Center (DLR).” It is the first contact with the spacecraft since going into hibernation in November.
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