Space

Philae landing site confirmed, celebrated with greatest selfie ever

Philae landing site confirmed,...
Rosetta's stunning selfie will be the final image to be returned from the Philae lander prior to its separation from the Rosetta mothership (Image: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA)
Rosetta's stunning selfie will be the final image to be returned from the Philae lander prior to its separation from the Rosetta mothership (Image: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA)
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Rosetta's stunning selfie will be the final image to be returned from the Philae lander prior to its separation from the Rosetta mothership (Image: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA)
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Rosetta's stunning selfie will be the final image to be returned from the Philae lander prior to its separation from the Rosetta mothership (Image: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA)
A mosaic of Philae's primary landing site snapped by Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera (Image: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA)
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A mosaic of Philae's primary landing site snapped by Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera (Image: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA)
ESA graphic displaying which pieces of equipment will be used at various stages of Philae's descent (Image: ESA/ATG medialab)
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ESA graphic displaying which pieces of equipment will be used at various stages of Philae's descent (Image: ESA/ATG medialab)
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Following an exhaustive scientific analysis, mission operators at the ESA have confirmed Site J as the primary landing location for Rosetta's Philae lander. If all goes to plan, Nov. 12 will be a historic first for the human race, as we expand our scientific empire to a new and hostile territory with the first-ever attempted soft landing on a comet.

Site J had already been tentatively selected as the primary landing site for the Philae lander, representing as it did the best trade-off between mission safety and potential scientific output. The confirmation of site J as the primary location will allow mission operators at the ESA to work in the context of a confirmed time-line of events leading up to the landing attempt.

The news of the confirmation came soon after the ESA released arguably the greatest selfie of all time. Shot from Philae herself, the image features one of the spacecraft's twin 16 m (52 ft) solar panels, with comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P) featuring prominently in the background against the harsh blackness of space. The image was created by combining two exposures captured by the spacecraft's Comet Infrared and Visible Analyser (CIVA) instrument.

A mosaic of Philae's primary landing site snapped by Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera (Image: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA)
A mosaic of Philae's primary landing site snapped by Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera (Image: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA)

Once successfully deployed onto the surface of the comet, CIVA will act as one of 10 instruments that the lander will use to make its long journey worthwhile, collecting data on the comet in an unprecedented level of detail. CIVA is comprised of a visible/infrared microscope imager/spectrometer, combined with seven micro-cameras arrayed around the upper section of the lander. The celestial selfie is the last image to be returned by Philae prior to its Nov. 12 separation from Rosetta.

The following somewhat confusing but ultimately entertaining video, courtesy of the ESA, highlights the historic and ambitious nature of the Rosetta mission.

Source: ESA

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2 comments
nutcase
Careful guys don't land in the horse crap LOL !!!
Jay Finke
Whats up with that crazy video ? they should have cast Charlie Sheen for the part, and I would have like to see Cameron Diaz as the girl