Rosetta/Philae landing timeline & video for Wed 12th

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23 May 2013
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A useful background video for tomorrow by Nick James from the British Astronomical Ass (BAA) and also the Lead Engineer for the project at BAE Systems in Chelmsford - information sources do not come better than that!!

Video ends with assessment that Philae has only a 50% chance of a successful landing tomorrow. I do hope they do land, it will be a massive feather in the cap of ESA (European Space Agency) the poorer cousin of NASA.

From another source - 80% of the science is done from Rosetta which is currently orbiting comet P67 - so we have a success there. Philae accounts for only 20% of the science, but nonetheless a successful landing would be good!!!

◾Webcast live from mission control:

Webcast will begin 19:00 GMT (20:00 CET) 11 November and continue (with pauses) to cover crucial mission milestones overnight on Tuesday and through Wednesday.

Also Rosetta mission page at


Superb teamwork !!!!
500 million kms EDIT away and travelled 6.4 billion miles to get there; 10 years in a hostile environment and then lands on a very small rotating piece of dirty ice that’s slowly melting.
Now that’s skill !!! Excellent work !!!

We just need to confirm its in the right location now

All explained in scientific data. The more up to date hasn't arrived yet:

Looks like the harpoons did not fire and they think from the data that Philae lifted off again and settled down - ie it landed not once but twice!!!
NB 67P is a small body and hence has low gravity which would have allowed Philae to lift off and settle.
They landed almost in the centre of the landing ellipse - not bad after travelling 6.4 billion km with a 28min signal time delay due to the 500 million kms that the signal needs to travel.

Briefing 1300 GMT Thursday
A truly stunning achievement , kudos to them all.
Just been listening to the "song" of the comet and wondered if I was the only one thinking of the sound effects for the movie Forbidden Planet. I could almost hear Walter Pidgeon chastising Leslie Nielson in the background.
Do yourself a favour then amigo , find and watch it. Camp science fiction done well (such a rarity) . A recognized cult classic that demands popcorn and a willing suspension of disbelief. The "science" is pure shlock and the romance is silly and it still rates watching. See if you can match where Star Trek got inspiration for many of it's characters. See Anne Francis in her prime. It's win ,win family fun for everyone. Can you tell I'm a long time fan?
It did well finding a parking space, didn't it?

I gather this lander is about the size of a washing machine, which probably explains the first message received back at mission control - "No point sending this thing, Earthlings. All our stuff's dry clean only."
Yes Rod , it surely is. Robby the robot became iconic in his own right with roles in several other movies and some TV shows as well as a much copied tin toy, some iterations of which are apparently worth serious cash in the toy collector market. Anyone who has seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show might remember the disembodied lips in the title run singing that "Anne Francis starred in Forbidden Planet" among the other classic camp mentioned in the opening title song.
As a kid I was a science fiction junky and never did kick the habit. Asimov and Hienlien , Pournelle and Verne taught me to read. The Jack and Jill reader came as a terrific let down when they were given out in primary school , believe me. Luckily our librarian was not a stickler for rules and allowed me the run of the adult floor of our public library and even stopped asking if I was really reading the stuff I checked out. So between the Saturday matinee and an adult library card , I really never had a chance , nor wanted one.
There are some cracking old Si-Fi films out there, Forbidden Planet, The day the Earth stood still etc all cheap on DVD.

bugbear":1wriuibi said:
finneyb":1wriuibi said:
NB 67P is a small body and hence has low gravity which would have allowed Philae to lift off and settle.

Ooh - we can do science! ... erasimenko

Comet mass: 1x10^13 kg
Philae mass: 100 kg
Comet radius: (say) 2000m ... ravitation

So: 6.674×10^−11 * (1x10^13 * 100)/(2000 * 2000)

= 0.16 N.

Not much.


=D> =D> =D>
Now this is getting real serious, I'd check ESA for job vacancies