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Latest Philae lander Stories

Rosetta Reveals History Of Asteroid Lutetia
2012-06-27 04:44:56

[ Watch the Video] The long and tumultuous history of asteroid Lutetia was revealed by ESA´s Rosetta spacecraft as it raced past this large, ancient asteroid. This spectacular movie shows a sequence of images snapped by Rosetta as it flew past the main-belt asteroid on 10 July 2010. The sequence begins nine and a half hours before Rosetta made its closest pass, when the asteroid still appeared like a distant tumbling speck seen from a distance of 500 000 km. Surface features...

Rosetta: Mission To Land On A Comet
2012-02-04 04:06:19

Europe´s Rosetta spacecraft is en route to intercept a comet— and to make history. In 2014, Rosetta will enter orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkoand land a probe on it, two firsts. Rosetta´s goal is to learn the primordial story a comet tells as it gloriously falls to pieces. Comets are primitive leftovers from our solar system's 'construction' about 4.5 billion years ago. Because they spend much of their time in the deep freeze of the outer solar system,...

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2011-06-05 10:53:43

On June 8, mission controllers will have the first opportunity to switch ESA's Rosetta comet-hunter into deep-space hibernation for 31 months. During this loneliest leg of its decade-long mission, Rosetta will loop ever closer toward comet 67-P, soaring to almost 1000 million km from Earth. Marking one of the most dramatic and distant stages of the probe's 10-year journey to rendezvous with Comet 67-P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, ground controllers at ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations...

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2011-05-31 08:24:55

Do you use Twitter? Are you as intrigued by comets as we are? Then tell us 'Why comets are cool' and you might win a trip to ESA's operations center in Germany on 15 June to celebrate 25 years of cometary science at ESA. If you're fascinated by comets, you're not alone. For millennia, philosophers, poets, astronomers and kings have gazed up "” sometimes in terror, always in awe "” as comets streak across the heavens, appearing, it seemed, out of nowhere. They've been called...

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2011-03-07 10:25:54

Ultra-light carbon-fiber rods used to stiffen a comet probe's legs are now being harnessed by a German manufacturer to boost the precision and efficiency of their laser cutters. Right now, the rods in question are on a collision course with a comet "“ literally. In 2014 ESA's Rosetta spacecraft will end a decade-long chase through space by catching up with Comet Churyumov"“Gerasimenko. It will orbit the comet and release its Philae lander to anchor itself to the icy surface. ...

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2010-09-27 07:10:46

ESA's Rosetta mission needs to deliver its lander, Philae, to a site in the southern hemisphere of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, according to a new study of the comet's nucleus. "Southern sites appear to be both the safest and the most scientifically interesting," said Jeremie Lasue, who presented the findings at the European Planetary Science Congress in Rome on Thursday September 23rd. "Churyumov-Gerasimenko is a time capsule holding material from the birth of the Solar System.  The...

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2010-09-22 14:25:01

What does a scientist do to visualize a space journey? Build a model, of course. A model of Europe's Rosetta comet-chaser made out of LEGO® blocks started out in this small way and has grown into a high-fidelity Rosetta Lander Education Kit. Engineering and art students of the University of Rome gathered yesterday to test the prototype of the Rosetta Lander Education Kit. Not only did they build the LEGO MINDSTORMS comet lander, they also learnt why ESA's mission is...

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2010-07-10 17:00:00

Asteroid Lutetia has been revealed as a battered world of many craters. ESA's Rosetta mission has returned the first close-up images of the asteroid showing it is most probably a primitive survivor from the violent birth of the Solar System. The flyby has been a spectacular success with Rosetta performing faultlessly. Closest approach took place at 18:10 CEST, at a distance of 3162 km. The images show that Lutetia is heavily cratered, having suffered many impacts during its 4.5 billion years...

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2010-06-27 13:16:19

The Rosetta Orbiter, a European Space Agency spacecraft heading for a 2014 encounter with a comet, will be flying close to asteroid Lutetia on Saturday, July 10. Classes and clubs are invited to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 2 to 4 p.m. that day to see first-ever, close-up images of Lutetia, talk to a NASA/JPL Rosetta project manager and participate in educational activities. Lutetia is a large metal-rich asteroid and part of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Rosetta...

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2009-10-20 10:45:00

ESA's Rosetta comet chaser will swing by Earth on November 13 to pick up orbital energy and begin the final leg of its 10-year journey to the outer Solar System. Several observations of the Earth"“Moon system are planned before the spacecraft heads out to study comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This will be the third Earth swingby, the last of Rosetta's four planetary gravity assists. Closest approach to Earth is expected at 08:45 CET. The swingby will provide exactly the boost Rosetta...