Rosetta will deploy Philae on 12 November

The date is set! Rosetta will deploy lander Philae to the surface of comet 67P/C-G on 12 November.

NAVCAM image of the comet on 21 September, which includes primary landing site J. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

NAVCAM image of the comet on 21 September, which includes a view of primary landing site J. Click for more details and link to context image. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

For the primary landing scenario, targeting Site J, Rosetta will release Philae at 08:35 GMT/09:35 CET at a distance of 22.5 km from the centre of the comet, landing about seven hours later. The one-way signal travel time between Rosetta and Earth on 12 November is 28 minutes 20 seconds, meaning that confirmation of the landing will arrive at Earth ground stations at around 16:00 GMT/17:00 CET.

If a decision is made to use the backup Site C, separation will occur at 13:04 GMT/14:04 CET, 12.5 km from the centre of the comet. Landing will occur about four hours later, with confirmation on Earth at around 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET. The timings are subject to uncertainties of several minutes.

Final confirmation of the primary landing site and its landing scenario will be made on 14 October after a formal Lander Operations Readiness Review, which will include the results of additional high-resolution analysis of the landing sites conducted in the meantime. Should the backup site be chosen at this stage, landing can still occur on 12 November.

Read the full story on the ESA Portal: Rosetta to deploy lander on 12 November

Comments

61 Comments

  • Ingo Althöfer says:

    Thanks for the info. At what time are first photos
    of Philae after landing expected to be
    available?

    • Haerwe says:

      Ingo ich kann mir schlicht nicht vorstellen dass die deutsche Weltraum-Bürokratie anders verfährt als mit den OSIRIS Ergebnissen. Wer hier engagiert fragt, wird doch wie ein Störfaktor behandelt

      • Jacob nielsen says:

        Crowdsourcing the interpretation of scientific data would be immensely productive in my view. But the mechanisms of careerbuilding in the academic world favours those who keep their little secrets. That is the state of things both in universities and private companies. What we experience here is how the production of knowledge is more of a livelihood for individuals (companies, states) than a common good.

        • logan says:

          Hi Jacob. It is not in the interest of us crowd. It is about timing. The more time that 'privileged' access to data is granted only to powerful groups (believe me, they have access) the more probable that 'future' knowledge never become a common good.

          • Denis says:

            This is simply not true. All the data will be available after 6 months and you can have access to all the published papers if you want to.

            I think it's fair that someone who has spent more than 40H per week during 10+ years, usually fighting to keep the mission going or get required funding, has the right to possibly put his name to a new discovery.
            On top of that, you have to consider the whole institutions (universities, research centres) who have decided to invest in these missions.

            I know it would be nice to do it for the beauty and interest of science and discovery. However, the reality is not so easy as large amount of money are involved and people are basing their career on these.

            On my side, I'm more than happy to get regular amazing pictures from the Navcam and get some qualitative results once in a while.

          • logan says:

            I really pray to my lesser god about you being right, Denis.

        • Denis says:

          Don't be ridiculous. The vast majority of people who would want to "help" in the interpretation of the data have neither the knowledge nor the experience to be able to even understand what they see in the data from Rosetta (or any other space probe for that matter).

          How are you going to filter out the handful of useful analysis/interpretation from the numerous pile of rubbish opinions based on nothing ?

          • Jacob nielsen says:

            reconsider: a whole bunch of scientist actually got together, managed to convince others to give them lots of money, built rocket and the like and all kinds of clever contraptions. For what?...to be able to explore a giant pile of rubbish. That's whats scientist do. Crowdsourcing = ridiculous? Indeed it could be put to many silly uses, but also some clever ones. By just making free acces to data and providing a forum, a hierachy will emerge in which the not completely stupid bits of reflections will evolve through recombination, reiterations, etc.

          • logan says:

            Denis, what you said easy come an go; but it is very sad to the Very FEW young women and men following you, thinking of science as something beautiful and amazing.

      • Erich says:

        Es sind ja nicht nur die Deutschen die bremsen. Das Management dieser mission hat die freigabe von allen beteiligten Staten erhalten um das zu machen was sie tun und das nach eigenen Kopf und Willen. Ist schade aber wir wählen ja unsere Politiker und sind damit selber beteiligt in dieses verfahren. Nächstes Mahl eben schlauer sein.

        • Nozomi says:

          Wüsste nicht welchen Politiker ich wählen sollte um diesbezüglich etwas zu ändern. Die interessieren sich nicht dafür (zumindest nicht mehr als was über einen Festakt hinausgeht) und die wenigsten haben die geringste Vorstellung um was es sich dabei überhaupt handelt. Die können nur das machen was ihnen das Wissenschaftsmanagment vorgibt (und die scheinen wenig lernfähig). Einzige Hoffnung, dass irgendwann über diese ärmliche Öffentlichkeitsarbeit frustrierte Kinder oder Jugendliche es nicht vergessen haben wenn sie selbst in solch einer Managementposition sind.

    • emily says:

      Hi Ingo, Philae's CIVA will make a ‘Farewell’ image of the orbiter after separation, while ROLIS will take images during the descent, then CIVA will make a panoramic on the surface (see here for more http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/09/13/science-with-the-lander-what-to-expect-when-philae-meets-67p/), but I do not know the exact times of when they will be downlinked to Earth.

    • Erich says:

      I suppose you mean that Osiris is going to take a picture of Philae on the landing spot. As the altitude of rosetta is about 20 km and its NFOV camera has a 20 micro radian resolution it can resolve 0.16 square meter sized structures and as Philea has at least one square-meter projection size it is possible to visualize it, also its reflectivity is a lot better than its surroundings.

  • Jacob Nielsen says:

    If Philae lands upside down, will it still retain some functionality? will it retain it's crucial capacity to transmit to Rosetta?
    Otherwise: would it be possible to attempt a reversal, by shooting off its downward thruster (in that case upwards!)? would someone informed or knowledgeable be generous enough to tell us of the considerations regarding different sub-optimal landing scenarios?

  • logan says:

    Thanks a lot for this photo.

    🙂

  • logan says:

    In this millibar scenario, thinking of ultra-fine dust immersed inside a thin ion envelope, flowing slooowly. Could bet those 'dunes' does not follow surface gravity lines.

    • logan says:

      This bandwidth is unadmissible. Proxy Comm Satellites. Once designed, they can be standard, small and very cheap. A two or four train following.

    • Erich says:

      I think as the solar induced activity so far is faint the vacuum, close to the comet, is rather in the nano bar scale and will not reach more than a few micro bar. Although the pressure sensors reading stops at 10 millibar its needle will only hit the endstop if sitting on a hollywood script scenario. To be able to get millibar athmospheric pressure, over a third of the comets mass must be evaporated and not washed away by the solar wind.

      • logan says:

        Hi Erich. Thanks for the advice.

        🙂

        On nano bar scenarios think of dust just 'ballistically' raining down.

        • Dertutenix says:

          There actually is a sensor on Philae that is supposed to detect dust particles falling on it.

  • logan says:

    Remote Laser Spectrometer on next Rosetta.

  • logan says:

    About Venus;

    Gigantic high altitude solar drones.

    • logan says:

      Venus is going to be researched layer by layer, down to the 'Mares'.

  • Erich says:

    Trying to drop bomb Philae from an altitude of 20 km is very optimistic. The target accuracy will be influenced by a lot of known factors and that is not the problem. The risk is if during the first hour of descent it meets the jet of a sporadic outburst as has been seen before. I hope Philae has enough options to land head up i it misses the bulls eye.

    • Erich says:

      The one positive aspect is that Philae might land on a place that is a bit more interesting then the boring flat dust field.

      • Jacob nielsen says:

        Hello Erich. Boring flat dust field? Boring in what respect? I do see the resemblance to some featureless strech of earthly desert. Likewise I would sure like to climb the steep cliffs, crater rims etc on p67. Only I can't, only it wouldn't be possible. The dust isn't sand, gravity is Too low... Everything there is unfamiliar and strange beyond belief. I can think of nowhere on p67 as boring!

        • Erich says:

          Well, the dust fields are regathered material of the comets tail and polluted with the solar wind, the dust-field is too thick to be penetrated by the drill Philae has on board.
          So, the dust collected in orbit is what we get on the dunes.
          Booring is relative after a few Bugatti's in the garage they also become booooring.
          I would preffer to land onto cliffs that are blasted open by some recent impact and get my data from more virgin soil.
          One of the most interesting experiment is to gather seismological data of the comet and to measure its mechanical properties, in this case a layer of dust make this kind of experiments fail.
          The gravity pull is anyhow vanishing small and only the inertia of the lander counts when it hits the dirt with less then a meter per second. The escape velosity at the landing spot is 0.7 m/s and closer to the comets center of gravity it newer gets byond one meter per second.

          • Erich says:

            To measure the surface of a comet and get all kind of data from its skin is not what a comet is about. This black hard radiation burned skin and the comets tail will tell us nothing about its origin, the pictures are just about to be compared with centerfolds. Nice but useless. The real treassure of information lays deep under the surface and the only way to get there is echo sounding and a huge boor-hole. For Philae echo sounding is the only option. Radio transmission through te comet is not a realistic option but will be tryed and is going to fail. So lets hope mother luck helps Philae to find a perfect landing spot.

          • Jacob nielsen says:

            Agree! And also with your own reply. Although our conception of p67 way vary: we know so little, and we have to make our own assumptions and extrapolate from our experiences with earths physics and chemistry... And I have less than 1 Bugatti.

          • JP says:

            Another question is to understand or bet whether virgin material becomes available everywhere on the surface during the active period or not.
            And also: what is the peeling rate of the cliffs during the (high) activity period? Would Philae cope with a 20 cm layer sublimation? and with 40 cm?
            I suppose that the risk associated to the landing sites are both on landing difficulties and long-term survival of the probe. Then the science made with it will be either as designed or serendipitous. Both actually is more probable.

    • Kamal Lodaya says:

      Erich: Think of it this way. Nobody wishes it, but suppose the landing is a disaster. Then the images from the seven-hour descent is something we will be left with.

  • Erich says:

    There is no real time control of the landing sequence as its feedback loop is almost an hour. So if landing head down is the scenario then Philae has no mechanical suspension to reduce the impact nor are the other options available to prevent damage. Head down means dead and lost. A lot of care is taken that this kind of landing is no option.

    • Jacob nielsen says:

      Yes, Philae will arrive at p67 on its feet, but if it hits a slope it might tumble, the outcome of which must hold a measure uf uncertainty.

      • Erich says:

        A decade ago a lot of brainstorms and tests were done to develop a system that will make Philae stay put what ever it hits. It will even be measured how deep the harpoons penetrate and so on. The main trick is to absorb the energy of impact and once its stabile on the surface the vector of gravity is no concern as the force it produces on the lander can be carried by a few ants from Earth. Its all about inertia as this is the same on the comet as here on Tellus the calculations and tests done are reliable. Its the mass plus its speed and not gravity that counts. About 100Kg*0.5m/s. The chances that anything goes wrong is not zero but acceptable small. Personally i would risk a lot more than the team at ESA does.

  • Roger says:

    Who is Erich, and with what authority does he he speak so confidently about the mission please?

  • Jacob nielsen says:

    "Based on nothing" is a key point her, isn't it? I am not suggesting that the comments here a of any value, but the thing is: we have no data. What about the pile of rubbish? When I made my thesis (in biology) I was faced with a pile of rubbish: articles galore written to promote someones career, and published by magazines existing solely to make a profit an that buisness: it was never pronounced loud and clear: "I worhed withis and that for a couple of years and it turned out sour". Real data here would attract people with skills, and it wouldn't be impossible to make some sort of selection process: If you know what you are dealing with, you know how to phrase your key points in a headline that the right person will find remarkable. It is not all tin foil helmets out here!

    • Denis says:

      Ok, I was mayb harsh in my initial reply and I think I see your point. My main concern is about this "selection process".
      I fully agree that, among the contributors, some will certainly have enough backround/knoweldge of the subject at hand to make useful and constructed interpretation of the data. Even some people less knowledgeable could have good ideas, but, as shown in all these online forums, the missing point in this case is the "constructed" interpretation.

      Maybe there will be some hierarchy which emerges as you said and some good things will emerge from that, but I have serious doubt about that. I guess it all depends on how it is managed.

    • Denis says:

      As for my "pile of rubbish", I agree that everything which is published in papers/journals is not intrinsically good.

      In any case, the data from the mission should be available with only 6 months delay (negligible compared to the 20 years mission) and anyone with alternative interpretation/theories will be able to look at them.

      • Jacob nielsen says:

        "It's one small step for man, one giant leap for someone with funds". Space exploration is private property. Let's go home, last person turn out the lights.

        • logan says:

          Hi Jacob, please keep on board and help this very small community. You have been rightly argumenting against weakness, not evilness.

  • Dertutenix says:

    So far we will have to do synthesis. The idea of the atom existed long before we entered the nuclear age and this great idea was lit without complex and expensive machinery by one single person.
    Far later we found out that space time is existing and the speed of light is constant. With small effort this can be verified by any student in a minor laboratory and even at home by some enthusiasts.
    Now we are aproaching the surface of a comet. A great part of a planets population will be able to grasp some of its essence due to the web.

    What is the next step?

  • Bill says:

    In anticipation of the Philae landing in November, I have started a series of images to look at the geomorphology of the Site J "semisphere":

    http://univ.smugmug.com/Rosetta-Philae-Mission/Rosetta-Geomorphology/i-9zPgpvJ/0/L/Comet_on_14_September_2014_-_NavCam--geomorph_siteJ--basemap-L.png

    This is the first in a series of several images, so check back. The Geomorph Gallery is located at

    http://univ.smugmug.com/Rosetta-Philae-Mission/Rosetta-Geomorphology

    --Bill

  • logan says:

    Promess nobody is going to jump back. Show us the sunlit 'exhaling' cave entrances.

  • Erich says:

    Scanning the ESA blogs and sides gives a picture that is to be generalized as sparse information, frequently asked questions are not reflecting the frequently asked real questions.

    The mainstream media is sleeping until Philae will land, use this story to sell their products a shortly thereafter forget what ever happened.

    Any of the collected Data will be released by ESA if somebody pulls it out into the clear by the force of court order.

  • Brian says:

    Is there somewhere we can watch the proposed landing live on the web, cable or TV?

    • Brian says:

      Just testing the reply button, but I really hope someone can answer this for me and my two 4.5 year old boys who are fascinated by asteroids, meteors and comets. I would greatly appreciate it mostly for their sake although having watched the lunar landing live in July , 1969 I am fascinated too! Great job all of you had a hand in this! Keep up the good work! I wish I had taken your path in life instead of becoming a musician...

      • Erich says:

        So far ESA has had a few Hangouts on the web and for sure ESA is going to webcast this event, but as ESA has a poor public relation level it is hard to get information of essense out of them. The best is to check at the 10 th of November because by then they have been awoken out of their dormant state by the mainstream media. I did some checking and found that the last update on their Paris headquarter page was in january this year.

    • emily says:

      Hi Brian (and everyone else asking the same question), there will be live-streaming of the dedicated media event on 12 November – programme details, along with more detailed information about the actual timeline of spacecraft events, to be provided soon.

  • Jacob nielsen says:

    Hallo!? Anyone in here? Hallo? No, everyone has left, except we check in to see if its really true: the party is over before it began. True it was a great achievement: I sat up too when Rosetta woke up. But really, it's just the taxiride. It is expensive too, challenging, exciting. I come to think though: why all the fuzz? Why attract childrens attention with a cartoon Rosetta, and a cartoon Philae? Why "are we there yet"? Children ask that question because they want out, they want to see and they want to explore. Then, are we there yet? What do I answer? Yes, we are there, but... You cant get out. Get what I am hinting at? Readers of the blog here are like children put on the backseat, the car is Rosetta. We are at the destination, the view is spectacular... From the front seat. On November 12. Front seat gets out, and then we will be told: " sit tight, back in 6 months or so. We'll send you a postcard! Dad is such a good driver isn't he?"

    • logan says:

      Of course you can't get out. You minds could warp extraneously. You could judge in a different way, forever. You could ask for nonsenses. You could act in inconceivable ways.

    • logan says:

      Wait for the postal, by the way, it's a cartoon.

  • Sputnik01 says:

    I would just like to voice my disappointment that the request by the Dutch Society for Spaceflight (NVR) to have a small group of members attend the event in Darmstadt was refused, on the grounds that press only will be admitted.

    Once again ESA powers that be seem to be more concerned with providing waffling pseudo-coverage than with allowing genuine participation of faithful space enthusiasts in the ventures they so articulately supported from the start.

    Shame on you, Darmstadt!

  • Terran says:

    I don't know why you're complaining now really. You outraged the same when Rosetta arrived at the comet and look you now basically get an amazing photo of the comet each day. Nicely arranged with background information in a blogpost. I doubt it would be any different with Philae just less frequent probably, but I can life with that.
    Just to let you know Emily and everyone else, that there are people out there that appreciate your effort!!

  • Dave says:

    Terran,
    Back in 1969 the moon landing was transmitted live to the world.
    You would think that the communications technology had gone backwards based on the timelyness and quality we are currently recieving from rosetta.

Comments are closed.