Rosetta’s Philae lander will touch down on comet’s surface on 12th November
The 12th November 2014 has been announced as the date when the ESA’s Rosetta mission will deploy its Philae lander, which will attempt to land on the surface of the 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Comet. The Rosetta satellite arrived and began orbiting the comet on 6th August 2014 and has since been taking scientific measurements of the celestial body.
Philae will free fall 22.5km to the landing site, dubbed ‘Site J’. This 1km square area was selected because of its relatively hospitable terrain compared to the rest of the comet’s geography. Site J also benefits from being well illuminated – essential to power Philae beyond its initial battery powered phase.
Should the landing be successful, Philae will attach itself to the comet’s surface where it will conduct scientific experiments in conjunction with its parent satellite above.
Read the full announcement here.