Descending to a comet

As the Philae lander was making its descent (approach?) to the comet, its ROLIS imager snapped this image:

Phiae's landing site from 3km away! Photo byESA Rosetta / Philae / Rolis
Phiae’s landing site from 3km away! Photo byESA Rosetta / Philae / Rolis

I mean, holy fricken WOW! Philae’s landing site is in the middle of the frame, on top of one of the lobes of comet 67P. Philae is down there on the surface and from what I can tell, it’s relatively stable. The hope was that harpoons would fire to firmly attach the lander, but the firing did not occur as planned.

It does seem that screws on the feet of the lander managed to successfully drive into the surface, however, so for now, the decision is to leave the lander as-is and not fire the harpoons.

And this just came in as I was writing this post – a new image of the comet’s surface just seconds before landing!

Phiae's landing site seconds from landing. Photo byESA Rosetta / Philae / Rolis
Phiae’s landing site seconds from landing. Photo byESA Rosetta / Philae / Rolis

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