Orange Juice, ETC

The blog of Elias & Theresa Carlson

Tag: Comet 67P

Riding Comets Through Outer Space

Forgive us while we nerd out for a minute…

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A 4 image composite photo of Comet 67P taken by Rosetta’s NAVCAM.
Photo Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Ten years ago the European Space Agency (ESA) launched Rosetta, a spacecraft loaded with a small probe named Philae. Their purpose? To catch and land on Comet 67P, a mass of rock and ice the size of Mt. Fuji hurtling through space at over 84,000 MPH. On Wednesday, after a journey spanning a decade and covering a distance of over 3.5 Billion miles, they achieved their goal. Rosetta launched Philae, which successfully attached itself to the surface of the comet. And today I’m looking at pictures of Comet 67P on Flickr. What an incredible world we live in.

You may ask, “Who cares? Why does this even matter?”

And to that I just have to say, “YOU GUYS! HUMANS LANDED A SPACECRAFT ON A FREAKING COMET!!!”

Seriously though, I don’t have any big answers for you, but just stop for five minutes and think about the logistical marvel that humankind has just achieved. I can’t help but feel a sense of pride and awe at the achievement. And I will be looking forward to any new scientific discoveries that come as a result of this most impressive feat.

If you’d like some more specifics about the mission here’s an informative article from Vox that covers the big points: Why The Comet Landing Matters

Below are a few of my favorite photos from the mission, which are available on ESA’s Flickr. You can see the full set here.

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Rosetta mission selfie showing Comet 67P and one of Rosetta’s solar wings. Taken using Philae’s CIVA camera.
Photo Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

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A “Beauty Shot” of Comet 67P taken by Rosetta from a distance of 10km.
Photo Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

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A “Beauty Shot” of Comet 67P taken by Rosetta from a distance of 10km.
Photo Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

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Infographic summarising the milestones of Rosetta’s journey through the Solar System.
Photo Credit: ESA