Space group releases 1st design from comet’s surface

November 13, 2014 - photo frame

BERLIN — The European Space Agency on Thursday published a initial picture taken from a aspect of a comet, and pronounced that a Philae lander is still “stable” notwithstanding a disaster to fasten on scrupulously to a hilly terrain.

The lander scored a ancestral initial Wednesday, touching down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after a decade-long, 4 billion-mile tour by space aboard a mom boat Rosetta.

Scientists’ exultation was somewhat dampened since a harpoons that were meant to anchor a lander to a aspect unsuccessful to deploy, causing it to rebound twice before it came to rest on a comet’s 2.5-mile-wide body, or nucleus.

“Philae is stable, sitting on a iota and is producing data,” Gerhard Schwehm, a scientist on a Rosetta mission, told The Associated Press. “The lander is really healthy.”

The print sent behind to Earth shows a hilly surface, with one of a lander’s 3 feet in a dilemma of a frame.

Scientists are still examining what outcome a dual bounces had on a booster and devise to recover serve sum during a news lecture during 8 a.m. EST. Communication with a lander is slow, with signals holding some-more than 28 mins to transport some 300 million miles between Earth and a Rosetta orbiter.

Schwehm pronounced it might still be probable to glow a harpoons though that this would be finished usually if it doesn’t endanger a lander.

Another pivotal doubt is either Philae’s cavalcade can be used to remove samples from underneath a aspect but pulling a lander into space. Gravity on a comet is 1/100,000th that of Earth, definition a soaking machine-sized lander weighs only 0.04 ounces there.

Philae and Rosetta will use 21 instruments to investigate a comet over a entrance months. Scientists wish a $1.6 billion plan will assistance them improved know comets and other astronomical objects, as good as presumably answer questions about a origins of life on Earth.

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