September 14-The ESA is about to declare the site on Comet 67P where the Rosetta operation will attempt to make a remarkable landing challenge and this successfully soft-land on a comet would be a first in the history of space exploration.
Engineers and scientists have used up the weekend discussing where on the surface, it might be achievable to put down a small contact robot.
ESA says the selection of landing sites will be announced on Monday, a primary objective and a backup before a last decision is made in October but Esa warnings that this high-risk venture should be seen as an exciting extra on the Rosetta mission and any site is selected will be exceptionally challenging.
Rosetta is traveling around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which is extremely irregular in shape, with a landscape that is marked by deep holes; gigantic cliffs contain potentially dangerous rocks and cracks.
Rosetta will dispatch the piggybacked Philae robot from a distance of about 10km to 67P, this spider-like robot will hope to connect the surface at “walking pace”, installing screws and harpoons in an attempt to lock itself down.
It will be a unique chance and the experience will take place so far from Earth that real-time radio manages will not possible.
Instead, the process will have to be completely programmed with commands uploaded several days in advance.
Dr Christopher Carr, a major researcher of this mission said that everything we’ve discovered at 67P/C-G so far says that we’ve chosen an incredible comet to visit.
He also said that there’s a real sense of excitement within the Rosetta community, and we’re all looking forward to the year ahead because no spaceship has ever orbited an active comet before, so there’s a lot to discover about spacecraft and instrument actions, but we’ve got a really vital mission carrying some of the best instrumentation possible, and I have to say that the operations teams at the ESA are doing an excellent job like a true professional.
But, of course, the Philae major aim is to take a comet sample into an on board laboratory.