Image Credit & Copyright: European Space Agency (ESA) and Rosetta spacecraft. All the links you will ever need below.
What a ride ESA’s Rosetta mission to catch and orbit 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko but as we all know, the fun has just begun! On Wednesday, November 12 (just over 3 days as I write this) the Rosetta spacecraft will deploy the Philae lander onto the surface of 67P.
Philae is scheduled to deploy at 08:35 UTC (03:35 EST) from a distance of about 22.5 km ( ft) where it will then touch down 7 hours later on the Agilkia (former site “J”) landing site. Confirmation signal of the landing will take 28 minutes 20 seconds to reach Earth; around 16:00 UTC (11:00 EST).
If for some reason they decide to not land at Agilkia, the backup location will be site “C” and those times would be different. Separation would take place at 13:04 UTC (08:04 EST) with contact happening about 4 hours later and with the same 28 minutes 20 second signal travel time, confirmation would occur around 17:30 UTC (12:30 EST).
All this is according to the many ESA sources but it’s important to remember that any of this could change at a moment’s notice so stay up to date with their social media resources especially the Rosetta, Philae and ESA Twitter feeds as well as the live streaming feed.
DID YOU KNOW?! The Rosetta mission and team chose its names based in Egyptian history?
ROSETTA is named after the Rosetta stone which provided the key to deciphering Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. The Rosetta spacecraft intends to help decipher what the infant solar system’s building blocks were.
PHILAE lander is named after the Nile Island, Philae; which is where an obelisk was found that helped to decipher the Rosetta stone.
CHEOPS BOULDER is a 45 meter boulder on the surface of 67P, one of the largest on the comet in fact. Because of it and the surrounding boulder’s resemblance to the Giza pyramids, the boulder was named after the Great Pyramid which was built as a tomb for Pharaoh Cheops.
AGILKIA (former site “J”) was named after Egyptian island in the Nile River (now Lake Nasser reservoir after the construction of the Aswan High Dam) that became home of the Temple of Isis after Philae, its original home was flooded with the construction of the Aswan Low Dam in 1902. The temple actually was flooded for half a century but in a joint operation between the Egyptians and UNESCO the temple was surrounded by a dam, pumped dry and each stone associated with the temple was marked and rebuilt on Agilkia Island. The Goddess Isis (meaning “Throne”) was the wife if Osiris, the god of the afterlife and the dead. Some blamed the annual flooding of the Nile on the tears of Isis after the murder of Osiris.
ESA’s Philae landing timeline: http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/11/07/rosetta-and-philae-landing-timeline/
Rosetta Twitter: https://twitter.com/ESA_Rosetta
Philae Lander Twitter: https://twitter.com/Philae2014
ESA’s Rosetta mission page: http://rosetta.esa.int/
ESA Rosetta Activities: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta
ESA Science Rosetta: http://sci.esa.int/rosetta/
ESA Rosetta Blog: http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/
Rosetta Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RosettaMission
Rosetta Instagram: http://instagram.com/rosettamission
European Space Agency (ESA): http://www.esa.int/ESA
Twitter (science): https://twitter.com/esascience
Twitter (operations): https://twitter.com/esaoperations