Thursday 18 June 2015

Rosetta and Philae

Why in news?
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Philae wakes up!
Source: European Space Agency

Europe's tiny robot lab Philae, hurtling through space on the back of a comet, awoke overnight and sent home its first message in nearly seven months.

What had happened?
Many moons ago, a small space probe named Philae skipped across the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko when the lander's harpoon-like anchoring mechanism failed. It came to rest in a shady spot and, without enough sunlight to keep it powered, it fell asleep after about 60 hours of operation.

What is the mission about?

The mission seeks to unlock the long-held secrets of comets , primordial clusters of ice and dust that scientists believe may reveal how the Solar System was formed. 

Philae, equipped with 10 instruments, may now get a grandstand view of the gas, dust and icy crystals that blast from the comet as it gets ever closer to the Sun.

Know more about the MISSION and the COMET...

Source: Telegraph UK published in November 2014, when Rosetta spacecraft was about to deploy its Philae lander unit down to the comet’s surface, firing two harpoons into it to secure itself.

[Sources: The Hindu, Economic Times, CNN, ESA, Telegraph]


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