Philae plans to visit Agilkia on November 12th

Philae's Landing site. Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0
Philae’s Landing site. Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

The Rosetta Mission is soon to complete its next great leap which is to land on the Comet 67P Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Coming soon on November 12th Philae will be released and plans to land on the selected landing site previously known as Landing site J but has now received its official name of Agilkia. Philae will be dropped by Rosetta at precisely the right time in order to fall to the comets surface with no steering possible and land. Philae will be capable of using a small thruster to push itself onto the comets surface so that it can secure itself using a harpoon system but there are no other thrusters onboard to help itself steer. Once Philae has landed on the comet it will use its 10 scientific instruments to investigate the comet.

As you may guess this will be a difficult process and all eyes will be on Philae to see how well it performs. After Philae lands on the comet the Rosetta orbiter and Philae will travel with the comet and investigate the process of the comet heating up as it approaches the sun and much more.

A great video provided by ESA explains this process very well. Watch the video below:

http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/content/view/embedjw/442132

If you would like to learn more about Rosetta visit the official Rosetta ESA website ESA – Rosetta or follow them on Twitter.

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