Philae robot continues
Philae, launched Wednesday aboard the Rosetta space probe to the comet’s surface, came in a shaded area of it. A video camera on board the spacecraft, orbiting at less than 16 km altitude of comet captured in pictures last minutes of descent Philae on its surface, which lasted a total of seven hours. The footage is observed ESA months where Philae comet reached and reached the region where, finally, after jumping like a ball on the body surface space.
Jump the robot, which was not foreseen was the consequence of the failure of the fastening system of Philae, which did not go off properly and not anchored. Philae thus reached a shaded area where you can not recharge its batteries using solar light energy as needed for expanded mission.0
ESA scientists waited anxiously information as Philae started a series of automated experiments, including drilling, and, fortunately, had enough energy to transmit information by radio waves to probe Rosetta, who then forwarded them to the Terra.
Before their stop systems and to enter into a state of hibernation, Philae has changed little position to try to gain access to more sunlight for photovoltaic panels covering one of the robot body, but immediately after rotation remained without power, and its systems were closed.
Comet 67P / Ciuriumov – Gherasimenko are turning to the sun, accompanied by the Rosetta probe.
Increasing the amount of light could be useful for charging batteries Philae. As the comet is heated jets of gas are released from its depths, which could result in moving the robot and moving it where the shaded region.
The first results of Rosetta mission are expected in December, when they will be presented at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.
Launched in 2004, the ESA Rosetta mission is dedicated to staying more data on the origins of the solar system, and the robot’s mission Philae collection of organic molecules that could play a role in the emergence of life on Earth.
Comets are the most primitive bodies in the Solar System. Rosetta probe has already sent the first images ever made of the surface of a comet.
Little robot could radiography inside comet to study magnetism to achieve images with the ground, to analyze complex molecules from the surface.
According to experts from the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), French space agency, its mission is achieved in 80%. After three days of work, “the results are extraordinary Philae”, says Marc Pircher, Director of CNES.
If restoring contact, if everything works as planned, Philae should “hot mill” in March 2015, when the comet will approach the sun.
But Rosetta will continue its mission of “accompanying” comet-Gherasimenko Ciuriumov at least until August 13, 2015, when the comet will pass to the shortest distance from the sun. Its mission is scheduled to last until the end of December 2015.
Placing a robot on a comet at a distance of 500 million kilometers from Earth is a first in the history of space exploration and a highlight of a mission that began 20 years ago.
With a total cost of 1.3 billion euros, the equivalent of three Airbus 380, Rosetta mission has deployed approximately 2,000 researchers over 20 years. Over 50 companies from 14 European countries and the United States participated in making this space probes.