Today the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Rosetta mission finally makes contact with the comet (67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko ) it has been chasing for some time since it was launched in 2004.
The Rosetta mission separated the Philae lander this morning about 8.35am GMT. So my breakfast was eaten while breathlessly scouring the telly, looking at all the news channels to see any live coverage of the mission. What a way to being the day! I wouldnt mind such fare for breakfast viewing everyday…
The lander is expected to reach the comet surface about 1600 GMT, give or take an hour and then will heopfully relay signals to the spacecraft.
Why is Rosetta so exciting?
Oh, the many reasons!! But here are the headline reasons:
– this is the first time a comet lander will land near the comet nucleus
– the lander will examine the comet for complex organic molecules! Did life come to earth riding on comet?– the mission will ride close to Jupiter’s orbit
This mission may well be one of the most critical in our journey to finding out about the origin of life in the universe!
The excitement is almsot unbearable and the wait is too much.
My only quibble: the TV keeps on harping on about tennis matches and fines on banks… who cares when we could be seeing the building blocks of life on a comet!