Sometimes I’m in awe over what humankind can accomplish when they put their minds to it.
Yesterday, a spacecraft by the name of Philae successfully touched down on a comet after travelling a total of 6.4 billion kilometers orbiting around the solar system before it finally found its target. When you stop to consider that the Earth is mere 93 million miles or so from the Sun, that's quite the distance. Its journey started over ten years ago when it was launched into space aboard the mother ship called “Rosetta” which derives its name from the Rosetta Stone which was discovered on the island of Philae in the Nile River and used to decipher ancient hieroglyphics.
Philae itself is about the size of your run of the mill washing machine and weighs about 220 pounds. The comet it landed on is only about 2.5 miles (four kilometers) in diameter. I don’t know how fast it’s travelling and it boggles my mind about how many calculations and recalculations had to be done in order for the mission to be successful.
There was a bit of a scare yesterday when it was revealed that it “bounced” back into space twice before the harpoons that secured it to the face of the comet were successful.
The goal of the mission is to transmit data and images of the comet back to us mere mortals here on Earth and for us to decipher them.
I’ll be anxious to see what is revealed in the coming days, months and years.
Never in my generation did I think that something like this could be accomplished and a big hats off and thank you to the European Space Agency for even considering something like this.
I hope I did this feat justice and I’ll leave it to some of our more scientifically inclined contributors to hopefully fill in some of the more technical aspects of the mission.
All in all though, incredible, infuckincredible.