Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Philae lands on comet

Last night, the story was Rosetta: Philae to land on comet.  Now, Philae has landed.  Discovery News has the story in We Just Landed On A Comet!

Earlier this morning, the Rosetta satellite successfully landed a probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko! Trace is here to explain how the European Space Agency managed to do this.
Hey, new opening music!  Love the beat!

Seriously, this is a great explanation of the orbital mechanics of arriving at the comet, although not much of an explanation of the landing itself, its significance, or any data so far.  Follow over the jump to see if WXYZ does a better job with those aspects of the mission.

Success for the first time ever; space probe lands on comet

So far, so good.  What about the follow-up, Comet landing sparks conversation on social media?

That's encouraging.  At least WXYZ is covering the landing itself and not the journey like Discovery News.

What about the people who specialize in stories like this,  Their latest report asks Double Comet Landing? Philae Probe May Have Bounced During Touchdown.
The European spacecraft that performed the first-ever soft landing on a comet might have done so not just once, but twice.

The Philae lander, part of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta mission, made history Wednesday morning (Nov. 12) when it touched down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. But the probe's anchoring harpoons didn't fire as planned, and Philae may have bounced off the surface before settling back onto the icy body once again, mission officials said.

"Maybe today, we didn't just land once — we even landed twice," Stephan Ulamec, Philae lander manager at the DLR German Aerospace Center, said during a news conference Wednesday.
Here's to hoping that Philae has stopped bouncing.

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