A landing on a comet is going to be a success. And the whole operation will be carried out by the Rosetta Mission.
Rosetta’s Philae probe is about to make the first ever landing on a comet today. It will make a landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The dis-junction of the lander is purported to be at 9:03 GMT. As for the landing, it should occur exactly 7 hours later.
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Among the channels which will look into the whole procedure are: a webcast which will offer live coverage from the mission control, the Rosetta weblog and last but not least Twitter. The probe is about the size of a big barbecue grill and it has started on its descent towards the surface of the comet.
It won’t be an easy journey though and things are very precarious. The probe weighs 250 pounds and it will take seven hours to hit rock bottom. The comet is 2.5 mile in its dimensions. The hardest part of the whole operation is the landing. That is where things could go very wrong. And a lot of luck is needed to accomplish this mission impossible of sorts.
The comet could be missed by fractions of inches. Then the probe could simply be rebuffed off the surface in a jiffy. Finally, it could also land at a crooked degree and thus get damaged as a result. The landing area which has been carefully selected for the probe may reduce it to cinders in a matter of minutes.
But the small size and low gravitational pull of the comet make it an ideal landing site. All we can do is wait and see which way the wind blows. Harpoons will be shot onto the comet to aid in landing. The probe also has thrust-rockets to help it make a decent landing.
A slight hitch with the cold gas system means that the whole operation could go awry any moment. It is indeed a delicate job and even the very micromanagement needs a micromanagement of its own. The probe will be sending back pics of the scenario on the comet.
It will be interesting to visit Twitter and see the photos in all their wondrous glory.
Outer space is a very wonderful place to explore for what lies outside the planetary influence. It’s been about ten years since this thing got off the ground. Comets are ice blocks that are travelling at super colossal speeds. A landing on one was shown in the movie Armageddon. But today what was shown on reel life has become real life!
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