Google Play icon

Rosetta and Philae separation confirmed

Share
Posted November 12, 2014

The Philae lander has separated from the Rosetta orbiter, and is now on its way to becoming the first spacecraft to touch down on a comet.

Separation was confirmed at ESA’s Space Operation Centre, ESOC, in Darmstadt, Germany at 09:03 GMT / 10:03 CET. It takes the radio signals from the transmitter on Rosetta 28 minutes and 20 seconds to reach Earth, so separation actually occurred in space at 08:35 GMT / 09:35 CET.

Artist impression showing Philae separating from Rosetta and descending to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Copyright ESA/ATG medialab

Artist impression showing Philae separating from Rosetta and descending to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Copyright ESA/ATG medialab

The first signal from Philae is expected in around two hours, when the lander establishes a communication link with Rosetta. Philae cannot send its data to Earth directly – it must do it via Rosetta.

Once the link has been established, the lander will relay via Rosetta a status report of its health, along with the first science data. This will include images taken of the orbiter shortly after separation.

The descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko will take around seven hours, during which the lander will take measurements of the environment around the comet. It will also take images of the final moments of descent.

Confirmation of a successful touchdown is expected in a one-hour window centred on 16:02 GMT / 17:02 CET. The first image from the surface is expected some two hours later.

Infographic to summarise the measurements carried out by Rosetta’s lander, Philae, during its seven-hour descent to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and immediately after touchdown. The time the signal is expected on Earth to confirm separation (09:03 GMT) and approximate time of landing confirmation (16:00 GMT) is also provided. The lander operations are listed in alphabetical order. After touchdown measurements have been made, the lander begins the first science sequence operations (not shown in this infographic). Copyright ESA/ATG medialab

Infographic to summarise the measurements carried out by Rosetta’s lander, Philae, during its seven-hour descent to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and immediately after touchdown. The time the signal is expected on Earth to confirm separation (09:03 GMT) and approximate time of landing confirmation (16:00 GMT) is also provided. The lander operations are listed in alphabetical order. After touchdown measurements have been made, the lander begins the first science sequence operations (not shown in this infographic). Copyright ESA/ATG medialab

Follow the event live via www.esa.int/rosetta

Source: ESA

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
85,409 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. New treatment may reverse celiac disease (October 22, 2019)
  2. "Helical Engine" Proposed by NASA Engineer could Reach 99% the Speed of Light. But could it, really? (October 17, 2019)
  3. New Class of Painkillers Offers all the Benefits of Opioids, Minus the Side Effects and Addictiveness (October 16, 2019)
  4. The World's Energy Storage Powerhouse (November 1, 2019)
  5. Plastic waste may be headed for the microwave (October 18, 2019)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email