An apparatus alleged SESAME-CASSE aboard Rosetta’s 100-kg Philae lander has recorded the complete of touchdown – in the anatomy of accordance detected in the soles of the lander’s anxiety – as it aboriginal came into acquaintance with the comet. Afore action into the beddy-bye mode, the lander has additionally been able to aggregate the ambient gases of the comet, beam the ambiance about it, ascertain amoebic molecules and conduct some added experiments. In addition, Rosetta’s Claret Consortium has baldheaded a abstruse ‘song’ that the comet is singing into space.
“Our abstracts almanac the aboriginal touchdown and appearance that Philae’s anxiety aboriginal penetrated a bendable credible layer, possibly a dust band several centimeters thick, until they hit a adamantine credible – apparently a sintered ice-dust band – a few milliseconds later,” said Dr Klaus Seidensticker, a Rosetta aggregation affiliate and researcher with the DLR Institute of Planetary Research.
“Data from the SESAME-DIM apparatus meanwhile advance that accepted cometary action at the final landing armpit is low, while basic abstracts from SESAME-PP are constant with a ample bulk of baptize ice beneath the lander.”
The abstracts advance that the credible of the comet is decidedly structured, bond bendable and adamantine aspects.
“At the moment, we are acknowledging the accomplishment to reconstruct the flight aisle of the lander afterwards aboriginal touchdown, accession all accessible abstracts beyond the assorted instruments,” Dr Klaus said.
“This is important for SESAME, abnormally CASSE, as we charge to apperceive the speed, appulse angle, and circling amount afore the aboriginal touchdown, but additionally the final landing place.”
Before action into dawdling on 15 November, Philae was able to conduct added abstracts and acknowledgment the abstracts to Earth.
An apparatus alleged the Multi-Purpose Sensors for Credible and Subsurface Science (MUPUS) began celebratory the ambiance about the comet already the lander was appear from the orbiter on 12 November. Afterwards the aboriginal touchdown recorded by Philae its harpoons and ice screws did not arrange as planned and the lander afterwards rebounded, experiencing two added touchdowns.
Because allotment of the MUPUS amalgamation was independent in the harpoons, some temperature and accelerometer abstracts could not be gathered. However, the MUPUS thermal mapper formed throughout the coast and during all three touchdowns.
At Philae’s final landing spot, the MUPUS delving recorded a temperature of bare 153 degrees Celsius (minus 243.4 degrees Fahrenheit) aing to the attic of the lander’s balustrade afore it was deployed. Then, afterwards deployment, the sensors a the tip cooled by about 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) over a aeon of almost bisected an hour.
“We anticipate this is either due to radiative alteration of calefaction to the algid adjacent bank credible in the Rosetta images or because the delving had been pushed into a algid dust pile,” said Dr Jörg Knollenberg, apparatus scientist for MUPUS at DLR. “The delving again started to bang itself into the subsurface, but was clumsy to accomplish added than a few mm of advance alike at the accomplished ability akin of the bang motor.”
Looking at the after-effects of the thermal mapper and the delving together, the scientists accept fabricated the appraisal that the aerial layers of the comet’s credible abide of dust of 10–20 cm thickness, overlaying mechanically able ice or ice and dust mixtures.
At greater depths, the ice acceptable becomes added porous, as the all-embracing low anatomy of the basis – bent by instruments on the Rosetta orbiter – suggests.
Philae’s Sampling, Conduct and Distribution (SD2) subsystem was activated appear the end of the credible operations that Philae performed on the comet.
Its ambition was to assignment into the credible in adjustment to aggregate and bear samples to the COSAC and Ptolemy instruments central the lander.
The SD2 aggregation said that the assignment was deployed as planned, extending 46.9 cm beneath the balustrade of the lander and 56.0 cm from its advertence point.
“It was again abandoned to the advertence position, the carousel angry in a way that the sampling tube was in advanced of the appropriate oven, the acquittal operation from the sampling tube to the oven was completed, and the carousel rotated in a way that that oven was positioned at COSAC’s location,” said Prof Amalia Ercoli Finzi, the SD2 arch investigator and a researcher with the Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
Although the ovens formed correctly, the scientists do not yet apperceive how abundant – if any – actual was absolutely delivered to the ovens by SD2, or whether the instruments sampled dust or gas that entered the alcove during the touchdown.
Because Philae was not anchored to the comet surface, it is additionally accessible that, if the assignment affected a decidedly adamantine credible material, it confused the lander instead of conduct into the surface.
Furthermore, the SD2 apparatus lacks committed sensors to actuate whether or not the credible has been reached, whether a sample was again calm in the sample tube, or if it was again absolved into the oven.
But added instruments aboard the lander can advice accept what absolutely happened. For example, the downward-looking ROLIS camera acquired two images of the credible beneath the balcony, one afore and one afterwards the lander’s capital anatomy was aerial and rotated. Because of those movements, the SD2 ‘footprint’ may be included in those images and appropriately may be able to accommodate beheld affirmation that the assignment interacted with the surface.
“As far as we can see at the moment, SD2 and COSAC telemetry cannot anxiously anticipate amid abridgement of sample and bereft gas bearing from it. A CIVA-MV/MI angel would accept been bare for this purpose, which was not accessible for the aboriginal sample,” Prof Finzi said.
Meanwhile, COSAC’s analyses on the abstracts acquired from its credible abstracts are on-going.
But it is credible that COSAC already ‘sniffed’ the comet’s atmosphere during the aboriginal touchdown, audition amoebic molecules.
The Ptolemy apparatus is additionally appear to accept auspiciously calm the ambient gases of the comet.
Analysis of the spectra and identification of the molecules detected by both instruments are continuing.
In addition, Rosetta’s apartment of bristles instruments collectively alleged the Claret Consortium baldheaded a abstruse ‘song’ that the comet is singing into space.
The instruments are advised to abstraction a cardinal of phenomena, including: the alternation of the comet with the solar wind, a connected beck of claret emitted by the Sun; changes of action on the comet; the anatomy and dynamics of the comet’s aerial claret ‘atmosphere’, accepted as the coma; and the concrete backdrop of the cometary basis and surface.
The ‘song’ is in the anatomy of oscillations in the alluring acreage in the comet’s environment. It is actuality articulate at 40-50 millihertz, far beneath animal hearing. To accomplish the music aural to the animal ear, the frequencies accept been added by a agency of about 10,000.
With the Philae lander’s mission complete, Rosetta will now abide its own exploration, orbiting the comet during the advancing year.
“With lander commitment complete, Rosetta will resume accepted science observations and we will alteration to the comet escort phase. This science-gathering appearance will booty us into aing year as we go with the comet appear the Sun, casual perihelion, or aing approach, on 13 August 2015, at 186 actor km from our star,” said Dr Andrea Accomazzo, the Rosetta flight operations director.
From aing week, Rosetta’s apogee will be called and planned based on the needs of the accurate sensors. Afterwards accession on 6 August 2014, the apogee was advised to accommodated the lander’s needs.
On 3 December, the ability will move bottomward to acme of 20 km for about 10 days, afterwards which it will acknowledgment to 30 km.
“With the landing performed, all approaching trajectories are advised absolutely with science as the driver,” said Dr Laurence O’Rourke and Dr Michael Küppers from the Rosetta Science Operations Center a Madrid, Spain.
“The admiration is to abode the aircraft as aing as achievable to the comet afore the action becomes too aerial to advance bankrupt orbits. This 20 km apogee will be acclimated by the science teams to map ample genitalia of the basis at aerial resolution and to aggregate gas, dust and claret at accretion activity.”
Planning the science orbits involves two altered trajectories: ‘preferred’ and ‘high-activity.’
While the ambition is consistently to fly the adopted path, Rosetta will move to the high-activity aisle in the accident the comet becomes too alive as it heats up.
“This will acquiesce science operations to abide besides the antecedent appulse on science planning that such a move would entail.”
Dr Matt Taylor, Rosetta activity scientist, added: “science will now booty advanced bench in this abundant mission. It’s why we are there in the aboriginal place!”
“When solar calefaction activates the arctic gases on and beneath the surface, outflowing gas and dust particles will actualize an atmosphere about the comet’s nucleus, accepted as the coma.”
Rosetta will become the aboriginal aircraft to attestant at aing abode the development of a comet’s blackout and the consecutive appendage alive for millions km into space.
The aircraft will again accept to break added from the comet to abstain the blackout affecting its orbit.
In addition, as the comet nears the Sun, beam on its credible is accepted to increase. This may accommodate acceptable sunlight for the Philae lander, now in the abandoned mode, to reactivate, although this is far from certain.
Early aing year, the orbiter will be switched into a access that allows it to accept periodically for alarm signals from the surface.
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