|rakshas||Date: Wednesday, 06-August-2014, 1:25 PM | Message # 1|
-- dragon lord--
Group: untoten Sorcerer
After ten years and six billion kilometres, Europe's Rosetta space probe is about to catch up with a comet.
Named 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko or 67P for short, the European Space Agency (Esa) has described the project as "their most fantastic mission ever".
A final series of thruster firings should slow the craft down to walking pace to enable it to begin a triangular shaped orbit some 100 kilometres above the comet's surface.
A European spacecraft is gradually closing in on a comet it has been tracking for over 10 years. In a mission likened to the action film Armageddon, the spacecraft named Rosetta, has travelled four billion miles across the asteroid belt and more than five times the Earth's distance from the sun. The comet is currently travelling round the sun at about 34,175 mph. The craft was launched in March 2004 and is set to complete the next phase of its mission on Wednesday afternoon - when it moves within just 62 miles of the comet at the same speed. Later in November it will deploy a small robotic lander, which will steer itself to the comet's surface, in order to send back images and conduct the first ever direct analysis of a comet's composition. The probe and its orbiter will study plumes of gas and water vapour that will boil off and trail behind as the comet nears the Sun. [color=gray]If the chemical signature of hydrogen matches that found in water on Earth, it could suggest that comets filled the oceans when they smashed into the planet billions of years ago. Report by Claire Lomas.
Message edited by rakshas - Wednesday, 06-August-2014, 1:31 PM
|arya||Date: Wednesday, 06-August-2014, 8:16 PM | Message # 2|
|Space history made as Europe's Rosetta becomes first probe to catch comet |
The European spacecraft Rosetta has become the first ever to catch up with a comet.
It is a landmark step in a decade-long mission that scientists hope will help unlock some of the secrets of the solar system.
Rosetta will accompany comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko on its trip around the sun and land a probe on it later this year in an unprecendented manoeuvre.