Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rosetta landing Philae will be tricky, says Francis Rocard

Rosetta landing Philae will be tricky, says Francis Rocard

After first unveiled yesterday Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko photographs acquired during the period of appointment with Rosetta held this August 6, 2014, Francis Rocard, head of Solar System exploration programs at CNES, we explains the sequence of operations for the spacecraft, including the landing of Philae module, which looks risky.

On 08/07/2014 at 11:38 - By Remy Decourt, Futura-Sciences

Two landing sites are possible. First at the dark hollow at the bottom right of the image, and a second peak at the top right. © Esa Rosetta Team MPS for Osiris , UPD, LAM, LPN, SSO, INTA, UPM, DASP, IDA
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After meeting with his Rosetta comet , 67P / the comet or "Chury" (67P, for short), the probe flew in concert with it. The first questions the unexpected shape of the comet and the subsequent operations fuse already. Francis Rocard , head of exploration programs solar system at CNES , details for Futura-Sciences the first analyzes of the comet and the work ahead European probe.

As shown by recent images were "manifestly two pieces that are stuck in low gear" says the researcher. "It makes the fragile comet so that it can break tomorrow as in 10,000 years. " However, this weakness is relative when you know it happens every 6.5 years close to the Sun ( perihelion ). But if it were to break during the mission, "it would be an extraordinary event, because we would be in the front row" .