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Philae lander of Rosetta Mission landed on Comet 67P

Nov 15, 2014 13:13 IST

European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta mission landed its Philae probe on the surface of Comet 67P/ Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014. The landing site has been named as Agilkia and is located on the head of the bizarre double-lobed object.

This is the first time in the space history that a probe landed on a comet.

Philae’s mission is to transmit data about composition of the comet after landing on its surface. It will provide elemental, isotopic, molecular and mineralogical composition of the cometary material.

The lander name has been kept after Philae Island in the Nile, where an obelisk (a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument) that was found and used, along with the Rosetta stone, to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Landing site has been named as Agilkia in honour of Agilkia Island, which was chosen by ESA public contest.

The 1 billion pound (1.58 billion US dollars) Rosetta was launched on 2 March 2004 from Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. It travelled 6.4 billion kilometers through the Solar System before reaching at Comet 67P.

It reached the icy and dusty surface of the comet that orbits sun at speed up to 135000 km/hr on 6 August 2014. The mission aims to know mysteries of comets made from ancient material that predates the origin of the solar system.


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