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European Space Probe Makes History By Orbiting Comet

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  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    In 2004, Europe sent out a spacecraft called the Rosetta probe in hopes of eventually coming into contact with a comet 250 million miles away from Earth. Well, this morning 8/6/2014, a decade later, the Rosetta probe actually reached its destination, and fell into the comet's orbit! That has never happened before. This is in fact the first time (that we know of at least) that man has sent a spacecraft that will be able to orbit and examine a comet up close and personal. In November, things will get even more interesting. That's when the European Rosetta space probe will launch a smaller, currently attached robot called Philae onto the comet, so it can send back images and information to show what the big space rock is made of.

    The comet's name is 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It is a "misshapen lump of ice and dust swinging in a wide circuit round the Sun at around 34,175 mph (55,000 kmh)". It also is being quietly dubbed the 'rubber duck' comet. (it does look just like a rubber duckie)

    Many scientists believe that studying a comet like this can be one way of unlocking the mysteries of the origins of life itself. The thought being that organic materials likely crashed into Earth untold millions, billions of years ago, seeding micro-somethings that eventually blossomed the entirety of life on Earth! It's just one theory of many, in regards to the origins of life. But, even if that's not how it happened, much can be learned and gained by studying a comet in real time. And Rosetta will have 17 months of real time in which to do just that. The probe and the comet will be in locked orbit, as they both are hurled ever closer to the sun.

    The ten year journey for Rosetta to get to 67P has been a wild and interesting ride. The spacecraft has ventured about 4 billion miles across the asteroid belt and more than five times the Earth's distance from the Sun. The scientists involved have even used a few planets' gravitational forces in our solar system to help propel Rosetta ever faster (and with less need for internal power combustion) toward the comet. Also of note, its being run be solar power at the moment, with just enough energy contained to heat the equipment on board, to adjust to the frigid temperatures of deep space.


    Come November, the little robot Philae will try and land on the comet. Between then and now though, who knows what cool pictures and developments will take place. To keep up with all that, use this NASA link:

    http://rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    Also, here's a really good video outlining Rosetta's 10 year journey.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Very interesting indeed; I always wondered what system they use to keep contact over such enormous distances; may be you know?
    My TV even quits if there is a thunderstorm or big cloud between the dish and the satelite.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    The Lord Yahweh created all life.........Heathens
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    L.A. Citizen Wrote: The Lord Yahweh created all life.........Heathens
    I wonder what has that anything to do with this space probe; I doubt it, if Yahweh or Wodan built this probe.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    Dutch Wrote:
    L.A. Citizen Wrote: The Lord Yahweh created all life.........Heathens
    I wonder what has that anything to do with this space probe; I doubt it, if Yahweh or Wodan built this probe.
    Yahweh got into a snowball fight with beezzlebub (comet)......Yahweh misses, the comet takes off....so 14 billion years later he gets man to build the probe. You see, with magic (religion) all is possible
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    L.A. Citizen Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote:
    L.A. Citizen Wrote: The Lord Yahweh created all life.........Heathens
    I wonder what has that anything to do with this space probe; I doubt it, if Yahweh or Wodan built this probe.
    Yahweh got into a snowball fight with beezzlebub (comet)......Yahweh misses, the comet takes off....so 14 billion years later he gets man to build the probe. You see, with magic (religion) all is possible
    What did you drink? must have been Dutch Genever (Bols); I did look through my telescope and saw little angels flooting around the probe; or are my old eyes seeing things the wrong way; may be it was Harry Potter on his broom with a bottle wodka in his hand?.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    The robot lander from Rosetta, 'Philae' will be landing on the comet's surface tomorrow.  

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/across-the-universe/2014/nov/11/rosetta-comet-landing-philae-lander
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    And touchdown! The European Space Agency deserves some major credit for achieving this success.

    That was amazing to watch live. I'll add a video of the landing as soon as they put it up.

    It's hard to overstate how big of a deal this is. The thought of being able to obtain samples from something that has been around since the beginning of our solar system some 4.6 billion years ago is remarkable, to say the least.

    You can follow everything in real time on the European Space Agency's website by clicking HERE.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    The Robot lander made it onto the suface of the comet..... Thank you lord. Although I know that you refer to Comets as your "Dirty Snowballs"... so that I may carve out a frosty -the- snowman.... in celebration of the birth of baby Jesus.

    Thank you lord for giving us the strength and knowledge 14 billion years later (I mean 6 thousand years) in making it possible to view your wonders.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: And touchdown! The European Space Agency deserves some major credit for achieving this success.

    That was amazing to watch live. I'll add a video of the landing as soon as they put it up.

    It's hard to overstate how big of a deal this is. The thought of being able to obtain samples from something that has been around since the beginning of our solar system some 4.6 billion years ago is remarkable, to say the least.

    You can follow everything in real time on the European Space Agency's website by clicking HERE.
    Please do post that link (when available) It would be very interesting to see.
    Thank you,
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: And touchdown! The European Space Agency deserves some major credit for achieving this success.

    That was amazing to watch live. I'll add a video of the landing as soon as they put it up.

    It's hard to overstate how big of a deal this is. The thought of being able to obtain samples from something that has been around since the beginning of our solar system some 4.6 billion years ago is remarkable, to say the least.

    You can follow everything in real time on the European Space Agency's website by clicking HERE.
    An old co-worker of mine works for ESA; I worked together with him in the same office he returned to the Netherlands and is participating in this project. Indeed this is a huge milestone in space exploration. Anyway it shows that not only the US or Russia are in the game.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    God bless the USA!
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    pr Wrote: God bless the USA!
    PGR; finally you see the "light" how many "bibles" can I sent you? ( you pay the shipping cost ; about $300.- plus insurance for one) may be you can use it to stop your van from rolling downhill as well; thus very useful. When can I come down to "bless" your van?
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    No need to do that Dutch, I steal them from all the cheap motels I stay at!