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Philae's dance at touchdown two

Philae's dance at touchdown two

Date: 28 October 2020
Copyright: Image: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA; Data: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROMAP; Analysis: O'Rourke et al. (2020)

Animation showing how Rosetta's Philae lander moved through touchdown site two on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014.

Initially travelling in a downward direction, Philae slides down the edge of a boulder (1) and flips vertically, rotating like a windmill to pass between two boulders (2) exposing layers of ice in the crevice walls with its feet.

A dust wall was created by the windmill action, pushing through the dust that had heaped up between the boulders up to that point in time. The crevice is about 2.5 m long and is curved with a width of 1–1.5 m, allowing Philae to pass through.

Philae then stamps a 25 cm imprint of the top of the lander into the comet's surface (3) – a hole made by the top of the SD2 (Sampling, Drilling and Distribution device) tower that sticks up above the top of Philae can be recognised.

Philae then climbed out of the crevice, knocking off material from an overhang (4a) and was pushed down again with its top surface, creating an impression in the dust corresponding to the 'eye' of the feature that resembles a skull face (4b).

The colours correspond to the data presented in the accompanying annotated infographic.

Last Update: 28 October 2020
23-Jul-2024 14:34 UT

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