One of the last images from Rosetta prior to touching down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The view above is from about 16 km / 10 mi and was obtained with the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera.
The image scale is about 30 cm / 12 in per pixel with a 614 m / 2,000 ft wide field of view!
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA via NASA
And this my friends is the very last image from Rosetta:
WOW! AT just 20 meters or 66 feet Rosetta took this. According to ESA: “The image scale is about 5 mm/pixel and the image measures about 2.4 m across.” The image was taken with the OSIRIS wide-angle camera.
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
NASA Television and the agency’s website will air the conclusion of ESA’s (European Space Agency’s) Rosetta mission from 6:15 to 8 a.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 30, with NASA commentary, interviews and analysis of the successful mission. The Rosetta mission will end with the controlled decent of the spacecraft onto the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at around 7:20 a.m.
There will be a link here for the live feed of the end of this epic mission.
Philae has been found! Click the image above to see an annotated version.
The find is very timely, on 30 September 2016, Rosetta will make the final rendezvous with the comet.
Close-up of the Philae lander, imaged by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 2 September 2016 from a distance of 2.7 km. The image scale is about 5 cm/pixel. Philae’s 1 m-wide body and two of its three legs can be seen extended from the body. The images also provide proof of Philae’s orientation.
The image is a zoom from a wider-scene, and has been interpolated.
ESA gives us this visualization of Rosetta’s journey. The video gives us a pretty good sense of the journey and how exacting the planning was and what it will be in the future, although the final bits of the journey were not completely finalized until after this visualization was made.
The trajectory shown in this animation is created from real data, but the comet rotation is not. An arrow indicates the direction to the Sun as the camera viewpoint changes during the animation. — ESA
I am always am amazed how ESA can make the very difficult look easy.
The Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko will likely be spending eternity in silence. “The chances for Philae to contact our team at our lander control centre are unfortunately getting close to zero,” says Stephan Ulamec, Philae project manager at the German Aerospace Center, DLR. “We are not sending commands any more and it would be very surprising if we were to receive a signal again.”
If things go as planned, Rosetta may be joining Philae when later this year when the spacecraft’s propellant runs low a landing attempt is made. This (hopefully) won’t be a large impacting event, rather a gentle touchdown and Rosetta will continue to collect and transmit data until the last. Might it even work from the surface for a short time? Probably not, but who knows.