Rosetta landing site choices


On 15 September the Rosetta mission will announce the primary and back up landing sites for comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

This video reviews the five shortlisted landing sites, why they were selected and how the comet’s unusual ‘duck’ shape affected the choice.

The Rosetta orbiter has been studying the comet since May and choosing the right place to land is crucial in order to examine the comet further. The orbiter’s data – together with that from the Philae lander – will provide unprecedented insights into our solar system.

The film also covers the preparation by scientists, members of the mission control team at the European Space Operations Centre at Darmstadt, in Germany, and the challenges ahead.

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  1. Kerbal, Philae has no active transportation rocket motor. It is "thrown" from rosetta and meets the surface hours later.  It has a spinning reaction wheel to maintain its 3-d attitude relative to the landing site. It also has a very small rocket engine that fires upon impacting the surface when the harpoons deploy to counteract the harpoon's force to keep the lander from jumping back from the landing surface. the rocket motors kind of press philae down to the surface while the harpoons explosively deploy to avoid "recoil" from momentum.

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