Rosetta mission’s Philae probe landed on Comet 67P

Rosetta mission of European Space Agency (ESA) has landed its Philae probe on the surface of Comet 67P/ Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Philae probe landing on Comet 67P made a Space history, as for the first time probe has landed on a comet.

The landing site of Philae probe has been named as Agilkia and is located on the head of the bizarre double-lobed object of Comet.  Name Agilkia was chosen by ESA in honour of Agilkia Island, in a public contest.

Philae’s mission:

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 is named after Philae Island in the Nile River, Egypt where an obelisk (a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument) was found and used, along with the Rosetta stone, to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.

About Spacecraft Rosetta and Comet 67P

67P was first discovered in 1969 by Soviet astronomers Ivanovych Churyumov and Svetlana Ivanova Gerasimenko. It is also known as Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

The spacecraft has been named after the Rosetta Stone, the discovery of which in 1799 provided the key to translating Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and Demotic script into Ancient Greek (and thus any other language).


The 1 billion pound (1.58 billion US dollars) Rosetta mission blasted off from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, in March 2004, for a long journey involving loops around the Sun as it aimed to get onto the same orbit as 67P.

Rosetta has traversed over 6 billion n km, passing by Earth three times, Mars once, and flew by two asteroids, using the gravitational pull of those bodies to change velocity and catch up with 67P.It had travelled through the Solar System before reaching at orbit of Comet 67P on 6th  August 2014. The mission aims to know mysteries of comets made from ancient material that predates the origin of the solar system.


Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017