Science on the comet
Rosetta's lander Philae carries 10 instruments. This animation shows four of them in action. First, ROLIS (light green) scans the surface immediately beneath the lander. ROLIS is the Rosetta Lander Imaging System and it will also take images as it descends to the surface.
Then the lander body rotates into position in order to drill into the surface. The drill, SD2, or the Sample and Distribution Device, can drill down 23 cm to collect samples and deliver them to onboard lab for inspection.
Next in the animation is MUPUS, the Multi-Purpose Sensors for Surface and Subsurface Science, to measure heat flow and thermal and mechanical properties of near-surface layers. In reality, this process will take several hours.
Finally in this animation is APXS, the Alpha X-ray Spectrometer. APXS will study the elemental composition of the surface directly below the lander.
Rosetta's Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI.