Landed on Comet..

12th Nov 2014 is a day to remember as remarkable day for Mankind.

Yes, this is the day when European Space Agency landed its refrigerator sized Robotic lander (weighing 100kgs) on the comet named 67P.

Till now we are very well familiar with news related to man landed on Moon, Mars, etc. But ever imagined that we could do the same with a comet which is traveling 40,000 mph between Jupiter and Mars. 

This is the first time mankind has ever done and the chances of success in this attempt was just 70%.

When did the mission start?

On 2nd March 2004 at 07:17 UTC the mission was Launched on Rocket named Ariane 5G+ V-158 from Kourou ELA-3 near Kourou in French Guiana. 

TEN YEARS to accomplish the job guys, was not cake bite. 

Why running behind a COMET?

Scientists believe these comets hold clues to the story of our solar system because they may have formed about 4.6 billion years ago. Same time as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

They (scientists) also think comets were a crucial part of Earth's formation because they crashed into our planet during its formation. It is believed that these comets could have brought the organic molecules that were essential to life. 

How was this done?

Identified a spot to land...

As you can see the above picture of comet which looks like a DUCK. Scientists first identified a target where they can land the Robotic lander. The spot is named as "Agilkia" which is located on the head of the comet. 

The companion..

Rosetta, is the orbiter which carried the lander Philae with it. Since no rocket launcher was able to get Rosetta all the way out there, rocket engineers had to use the gravity of Mars and Earth to essentially sling it into orbit. The total trip spanned 6.4 billion kilometers (nearly 4 billion miles) and took 10 years.

To make it more clearer to you let me show you the Journey Timeline illustrated by European Space Agency as below
Click on image to enlarge

So, Rosetta traveled and on 8th June 2011 it went on hibernation mode (to save the energy as well as it was waiting for the comet to arrive nearby). Then on 20th January 2014 it came out of hibernation and started its journey again.

6th August 2014 when comet arrived the chase began and Philae landed on the designated spot on 12th November 2014.

Interesting Facts about the comet...

The Comet Stinks..
Yes, according to researchers, the cloud of gas surrounding comet 67P smells like rotten eggs, horse urine, methanol and formaldehyde. They say, odors not uncommon for comets like this. As per Los Angeles Times report "As the comet nears the sun, it will release more gases and smell even worse".

67P is singing..
As the spacecraft neared the comet 67P, researchers were surprised.. as they found songlike hum coming from the comet. The singing is caused by the release of electrically charged particles, a phenomenon scientists still don't fully understand. 

The song is shared by ESA on its Twitter page by using hashtag #cometlanding click here to Listen to the song

Even Rosetta likes Selfies..
You love selfies right.. Everyone these days love to take selfies. Even Rosetta is taking selfies. Philae is comprised of 7 cameras that are capable of taking 360 degree photos of the comet's landscape once landed. CIVA can also take selfies from its place on the Rosetta spacecraft which is orbiting the comet. See below image.

Need to conclude.. 

I am amazed by what mankind can do and still counting. Thought of quick share with this story. As the subject could not be explained or told in short. I request the interested people to go out and do more research on the subject. 

Its always exciting to know the facts from the universe. Especially the one which you are still unanswered from you childhood days. 

This is all from my side.. until the the next blog logging off.. drop your comments for sure.. 

Images & Source: ESA / Mashable/ Wiki

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