02 December 2014 News

Rosetta comet success SpaceShipTwo

After an unplanned 30-minute bounce as it landed on the surface of Comet 67P, Philae, the little 100kg sub-probe to ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft, finally settled down to transmit information and photos on 12 November 2014. It had landed 1 km off target after its harpoon and screw mechanisms failed to hold it down on what turned out to be a relatively hard rock and ice surface of the comet. Battery power was soon lost because of its awkward angle and position in shadow, but ESA officials were delighted with the initial 80 per cent data stream success. It is hoped that the sleep-mode that Philae is in may change and, once sunlight is received to on-board solar panels, the lander may recharge its batteries, reboot computers and carry on its future work. Organic molecules are a key search objective focus of the mission.

If you've enjoyed reading this article, please consider subscribing to ROOM Space Journal to gain full access to current articles and receive your own print and/or digital copies of ROOM delivered direct to your door or electronically.

Popular articles

Popular articles

Astroscale launched its ELSA-d mission in March 2021. ELSA-d consists of two satellites stacked together - a servicer designed to safely remove debris from orbit and a client satellite that serves as a piece of replica debris. Astronautics

Developing an in-orbit servicing and manufacturing economy

A graphic simulation of the Starlink constellation, visualising the ground tracks of around 11,500 satellites between 2019 and 2033 (with guesses for the timing of the deployment of the remaining orbital shells, which determines the order in the plot). Opinion

Congested, contested... under-regulated and unplanned