Imagine this: Our solar system is busy minding its own business, whittling its days away in its predictable orbits and rotations, when suddenly a rogue star comes crashing by, knocking comets and asteroids into erratic paths straight for Earth. A new study says that such a scenario is entirely possible, but it's nothing to fret over.
You want to hear what a historic moment sounds like? Philae and the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt; DLR) can provide.
Following the historic news that the European Space Agency's (ESA) Philae lander had successfully deployed from the Rosetta spacecraft to alight on the surface of a comet, it was revealed that technical difficulties had caused it to land in a far darker spot than intended, potentially ruining its chances at an extended mission. Now it has been discovered that the lander is doing better than anticipated, but is still in the dark.
New data from the European Space Agency's (ESA) historic Philae landing on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has revealed that the tiny craft didn't just touchdown, it bounced, skating the surface of the rotating comet to settle pretty far away from where experts had hoped it would land.
If landers could dance, the Rosetta Spacecraft's Philae lander would be doing a touchdown boogie in the "end zone" of a massive comet right now. That's because the lander just made history as the first man-made craft to ever make a soft landing on the surface of a comet as it continues to hurtle through space.
In a case of mistaken identity, a newly active asteroid in our solar system's famous Main Belt is boasting a dusty tail, thinking it's more a comet than an asteroid, according to recent research.
Just last month, the comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) whipped by Mars within 88,000 miles of the planet. And while that may not sound too close, debris from the comet still had a shocking effect on the Red Planet's thin atmosphere.
The site where the Rosetta spacecraft's Philae lander will make history later this month finally has a name. And despite the fact that this name was chosen by the public, it's not quirky or clever, it's just plain appropriate.
The Rosetta mission is currently making history as the first spacecraft to not only "catch a comet," slipping into the icy behemoth's gravitational field, but it will also be the first to land an analytic robot on its surface. Will such an accomplishment be remembered in the many, many generations to come? The European Space Agency (ESA) and short filmmaker Tomek Bagiński seems to think so.
Scientists using the Rosetta comet orbiter have spent the last several months sniffing the scent of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, and the results aren't pretty. In fact, they're rather smelly, giving off an odor of rotten eggs and horse stable, according to reports released Thursday.
NASA's three state-of-the-art Mars orbiters successfully dodged a comet and its dangerous debris just yesterday, after months of preparation for this rare fly-by event.
Now in near-touching distance to its comet quarry, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the European Space Agency's (ESA) comet-chasing spacecraft Rosetta has managed to snap some stunning photos as the "Rubber Ducky" comet sheds a coma from its vast solid mass.
The European Space Agency (ESA) finally announced the exact date on which its Rosetta comet chasing spacecraft will deploy the Philae lander. The lander will alight onto the surface of a massive comet on November 12, making history as the first manmade vehicle to set down on a comet as it whips through space.
After considerable deliberation, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta mission team has finally chosen the spot where the Philae Lander will set down. The lander will detach from the Rosetta comet-chasing spacecraft and alight onto the carefully selected part of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko this November.