Early tomorrow morning, we will reach a new and exciting height in space exploration. Rosetta, a spacecraft from the European Space Agency, will be making a perilous landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Currently hurtling through deep space, Rosetta is in orbit around the Comet waiting on it’s command to launch the Philae lander.
Launch to landing will take the lander 7 hours. This marks the first time in history that we have properly landed anything on a comet for long term observation. Once landed, Philae will shoot harpoons into the surface of the comet to keep itself in place while it uses on board instruments to gather and relay data back to earth. This has the potential to be a great step forward in our knowledge of comets and could eventually assist in diverting those that would be headed toward earth.
Someone call Aerosmith and Ben Afleck because this is how we save the planet.
Rosetta has been in space for more than 10 years on this mission and will continue along Comet 67P/CG until its eventual plummet into the sun all the while telling us important things about the nature of Comets and their possible role in the origins of water on our planet.
The Slooh Observatory Community will be webcasting all things Rosetta tomorrow, wednesday Nov 12th at 2:00 pm. You can check it out here.
Nasa will also be webcasting the event. You can see their livestream below.
Until the time of the event feel free to check out one of the coolest things I know of. Live coverage of the earth streaming directly from the Internation Space Station.