Philae Landing Sites
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Philae Landing Sites

August 27, 2014
This annotated image depicts four of the five potential landing sites for the Rosetta mission's Philae lander.

Five candidate sites were identified on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during the Landing Site Selection Group meeting held August 23 - 24, 2014. The approximate locations of the five regions are marked on these OSIRIS narrow-angle camera images taken on August 16 from a distance of about 62 miles (100 kilometers). The comet nucleus is approximately 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) across. Each elliptical landing site covers about 4-tenths of a square mile (one square kilometer).

The sites were assigned a letter from an original pre-selection of 10 possible sites identified A through J. The lettering scheme does not signify any ranking. Three sites (B, I and J) are located on the smaller of the two lobes of the comet, and two sites (A and C) are located on the larger lobe.

Choosing the right landing site is a complex process. That site must balance the technical needs of the orbiter and lander during all phases of the separation, descent, and landing, and during operations on the surface with the scientific requirements of the 10 instruments on Philae.


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