Tuesday, December 16 2014 – 7:00 pm, PST
The Rosetta Lander, Philae, landed on 67P/Churyumov Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014. Before this could happen, a landing site had to be selected within just 2 months, based on data from the Rosetta Orbiter instruments and analyses on flight dynamics and illumination profiles. Philae was programmed to perform a First Scientific Sequence, immediately following touch down, and then enter its long term science mode.
The paper will report on the actual landing and the very first results. The landing was successful, though the operational sequences had to be modified ad hoc: Philae did not anchor upon first touchdown at 15:34:06 UTC but rebounded at least once, finally settling – fully operating all the while – at a place not ideal for long-term science. A wealth of science data has been received.
Rosetta is an ESA mission with contributions from its member states and NASA. Rosetta’s Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI.