[FPSPACE] Philae Lander Historic Touchdown on Rosetta Comet

Christopher Gorski cpgorski at gmail.com
Thu Nov 13 12:29:11 EST 2014


On Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 8:23 AM, David Portree <dsfportree at hotmail.com>
wrote:

> One ESA source I read yesterday (not sure which one - sorry!) indicated
> that a flywheel on the spacecraft was spinning down at landing. When little
> Philae touched down but couldn't grab hold of the surface, the flywheel
> caused it to spin, possibly causing it to push off and contributing to the
> two-hour (!) initial bounce. Philae might be entirely outside its landing
> area.
>

Looks like it.

I saw this image previously but couldn't identify the source... Phil Plait
is using it now though so I will pretend that his legwork counts as
vetting:
https://twitter.com/SpaceRef/status/532889492601192448/photo/1
Magenta square is the initial landing; blue diamond is the place where it
may have come down.

Compare that to a previous picture of potential landing sites:
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/pia18778.jpg
Site J is the one that was chosen, on the little ridge.  Site B is in the
large crater on the smaller lobe of the comet, and the current estimate is
that Philae is on the far side of that crater.

Don't know what the confidence is on that blue diamond.

--Christopher Gorski





>
> dsfp
>
> David S. F. Portree
> author and stuff
>
> Email:
> dsfportree at hotmail.com
> dportree at usgs.gov
>
> Profile:
> http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/people/david-portree
>
> Blogs:
> http://www.wired.com/category/beyondapollo/
> http://theportreelibrary.blogspot.com/
>
> > Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 09:06:48 +0000
> > From: geertsassen at gmail.com
> > To: fpspace at www.friends-partners.org
>
> > Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Philae Lander Historic Touchdown on Rosetta Comet
> >
> > Slightly more news this morning it seems, at least according twitter. It
> > seems the lander bounced and landed 3 times, possibly moving hundreds of
> > meters. CIVA panoramic pictures were taken automatically within 5
> > minutes of landing and according rumors resulted in only unintelligble
> > blurred images or completely black images as the lander was moving and
> > bouncing around.
> >
> > @Philae_MUPUS:
> > [their instrument(s) confirm the 3 bounce data]
> > Good morning #cometlanding! Short status update: we believe that Philae
> > bounced (possibly 3 times) but sits safely on the comet now.
> > we need images and radio link to learn more. several Philae instruments
> > got nice data (Cosac, Concert, Ptolemy, RoMap, Rolis) #cometlanding.
> > Will tweet news as they come in. Stay tuned. #cometlanding
> >
> > @chrislintott:
> > Stable signal from @Philae2014, images from ÇIVA received and some broad
> > smiles around ESOC. Not anchored to surface #CometLanding
> >
> > @RosettaSD2:
> > Unfortunately no drilling today: we first need to understand where we
> > landed and how we landed. Today is critical @Philae2014 @ESA_Rosetta
> >
> > On 12-11-14 22:03, James Oberg wrote:
> > >
> > > The situation is extremely unclear -- and highly interesting.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > None of the anchoring systems have functioned.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > It seems to have drifted off the surface and landed again.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > No images from the surface yet.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Surface composition/consistency may be snow-like, nothing to grab onto.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Wonderfully weird!!!
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Chris Jones" <clj at panix.com>
> > > To: <fpspace at friends-partners.org>
> > > Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 3:44 PM
> > > Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Philae Lander Historic Touchdown on Rosetta
> Comet
> > >
> > >
> > >> On 11/12/2014 3:58 PM, Zeger Nuyens wrote:
> > >>
> > >>> Could that mean that our Philae is sinking deeper and deeper?
> > >>
> > >> Given how weak the comet's gravity is, and hence how very light Philae
> > >> must be at its surface, that would be one weak surface!
> > >>
> > >>
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