Wednesday, November 12, 2014

No big deal, just landing on a comet

We landed a robot on a comet earlier today.  Using harpoons.

XKCD covered it, and an archive of the slides can be found here. (first few are uninteresting, but keep clicking & it gets good).

There's also a video series for kids about the mission.

The European Space Agency robots are tweeting about it.

Approaching the comet, we've learned that it both stinks and sings.

Welcome to the future.
This is ridiculously awesome.  10 years ago we planned a mission to land a robot on an asteroid using harpoons.  And it worked.  I'm going to revel in that for a little while.

A personal note - I haven't yet seen pictures of the ESA Operations center.  I bet they're pretty excited right now, though.  Here are scientists from India celebrating getting their space probe into orbit around Mars. A representative image:

This image is fantastic, and a good reminder for me that scientists and space programs are more colorful and include more women than they do in my head.  Landing a robot on an asteroid is the future I signed up for.  Women in saris flying a robot around Mars wasn't, but is even more awesome!