Philae on the comet!

15 Nov

What_does_Philae_do_during_descentThere couldn’t be a better day to start the Nth version of my blog than the weekend after the awesome landing of Philae on Comet 67P.

Last Wednesday the whole European scientific and technological sector stopped for a few hours to follow the updates on the most daring space endeavour to date: the first comet landing.

After 7 hours of descent marked by various communication and data milestones, spacecraft controllers at ESOC could confirm the touchdown on the comet. Hours later it became clear that Philae performed two bounces on the comet surface before coming to a rest. Moreover it stopped in a peculiar position on the rim of a big crater and roughly at a distance of 1 km from the original landing site.

During the next two days, taking advantage of the two daily communication slots permitted by the orbit of the Rosetta spacecraft, the entire main scientific  … Continue reading »