Monday, November 17, 2014

Link of the Week

This week I've got links regarding the Philae probe's recent landing on Comet 67P...

Comet lander: Camera sees Philae's hairy landing

"By Jonathan Amos, Science correspondent, BBC News 

High-resolution pictures have now been released of the Philae probe in the act of landing on Comet 67P last Wednesday.
They were acquired by the Narrow Angle Camera on the Rosetta satellite, which had dropped the little robot towards the surface of the "ice mountain".
The images are presented as a mosaic covering the half-hour or so around the "first touchdown" - the probe then bounced to a stop about 1km away.
This rebound reached hundreds of metres above the comet and lasted almost two hours.
When Philae came back down, it made another small leap, which took it into a high-walled trap.
Telemetry and pictures from the robot itself indicate this location is covered in deep shadow for most of 67P's day.
As a consequence, Philae receives insufficient solar power to re-boot and form a radio link to the orbiting Rosetta spacecraft.
Esa cannot be sure the robot will ever come back to life, but even if it does not the agency says it is "hugely happy" with what was achieved in the more than 50 hours following landing.
The probe managed to complete over 80% of its planned primary science campaign on the surface.
Scientists say this shows the icy material underlying 67P's dust covering to be far harder than anyone anticipated - having the tensile strength of some rocks.
It also helps explain why Philae bounced so high on that first touchdown.
The 4km-wide comet has little gravity, so when key landing systems designed to hold the robot down failed at the crucial moment - the probe would have been relying on thick, soft, compressive layers to absorb its impact.
However much dust it did encounter at that moment, it clearly was not enough to prevent Philae making its giant rebound."

You can read the full story at the BBC link here.

And lastly a little humor for you.... you find The Oatmeal's take on the story here.

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