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ScienceCasts: Mission to Land on a Comet

Rosetta will enter orbit around 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and land a probe on it for a front row seat as the comet heads toward the sun.
Reveille is on or around New Year's Day 2014, when the spacecraft begins a months-long program of self-checkups.
If all goes well, in August of the same year, Rosetta will enter orbit around 67P's nucleus and begin scanning its surface for a landing site. Once a site is chosen, the spacecraft will descend as low as 1 km to deploy the lander.
The lander’s name is “Philae” after an island in the Nile, the site of an obelisk that helped decipher—you guessed it—the Rosetta Stone.
Touchdown is scheduled for November 2014, when Philae will make the first ever controlled landing on a comet's nucleus.
"When we land, the comet could already be active!" says Alexander. Because a comet has little gravity, the lander will anchor itself with harpoons. “T


Added: Feb-3-2012 Occurred On: Feb-3-2012
By: scarfilm
In:
Science and Technology
Tags: rosetta, 67p, 2014, comet, nasa, philae
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