Rosetta: Philae’s Ten Year Date With Destiny Gets Closer

The preliminary date and timing schedules have been released for Rosetta’s cometary lander, Philae.

Under these proposals Philae is due to land on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12th November to carry out a wide range of scientific analyses that could provide critical answers to the origins of life.

Two separate landing schedules have been formalised by ESA: one for the primary site J, and another for the secondary backup site, C.

For site J: ‘Rosetta will release Philae at 08:35 GMT/09:35 CET at a distance of 22.5 km from the centre of the comet, landing about seven hours later. The one-way signal travel time between Rosetta and Earth on 12 November is 28 minutes 20 seconds, meaning that confirmation of the landing will arrive at Earth ground stations at around 16:00 GMT/17:00 CET.’

For site C: ‘separation will occur at 13:04 GMT/14:04 CET, 12.5 km from the centre of the comet. Landing will occur about four hours later, with confirmation on Earth at around 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET. The timings are subject to uncertainties of several minutes.’

 

Comet 67P proposed landing sites

Comet 67P proposed landing sites

 

Final confirmation of these proposals will be announced by ESA on the 14th October.

ESA also report that, whilst they have been waiting to release Philae, Rosetta has been carrying out ‘unprecedented analysis’ of the environment surrounding 67P—results of this initial research are scheduled to be released in a series of press conferences on the day of Philae’s long awaited ten year date with destiny.

Science Nutshell will be watching.

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Paul Hattle

As a strong advocate for science and learning, I am a passionate supporter of the 'Campaign for Science and Engineering' (CaSE) Fellow of the 'Royal Astronomical Society' (RAS) Associate Member of the 'Institute of Physics' (IOP) & 'The Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators' (ISTC)

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