comet, Education, ESA, European Space Agency, photo, Popular science, rosetta, science, selfie, space
Hello again, Rosetta! After a ten year journey, the spacecraft is only 16km from the comet it’s been sent to explore. Earlier this week, it sent back this selfie showing one of its solar panels and the comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It’s an awe-inspiring image. A decade ago, we hurled this little ship out into cold, dark space. It looped around the solar system several times, sending back pictures of Mars and Earth as it looped past us to pick up speed. Barrelling out past the Mars’ orbit, it went to sleep to conserve power. Thanks to the hard work and careful planning of the ESA team, it managed to rendez-vous with the 4km wide comet after a journey of over 6 billion kilometers! That’s amazing! And now it’s sending back pictures as the two of them flirt and dance around each other while Rosetta looks for a place to put down its lander, Philae. Well done, humankind! And congratulations to the Rosetta team!
There’ll be more news next month, when the docking itself should take place. Once on the comet, Philae will send back data for anywhere from a few days to a few months — we simply don’t know how long it will last on the comet’s surface.
The picture is, of course, from the ESA. Well done!
This is mind-boggling, the long range planning and accuracy. It makes the mars lander problem pale in comparison. It really does seem that if people can do this, we should be able to solve some of our earthly survival issues. Maybe, we will be able to apply it closer to home. But nevertheless, it awe inspiring to think of all the knowledge and skill that went into doing this.
The logistics of such a feat are mind-boggling. So cool to see it arrive at its target.
This must be the ULTIMATE selfie lol. I don’t think anyone can top that one. Not even the celebrities.