Landing on a comet LIVE!
November 11, 2014 11:10 PM   Subscribe

 
There's a few animations for kids in this playlist here. (Look for the blue backgrounds.)

There's a great timeline of events from the Planetary Society here.
posted by Catblack at 11:16 PM on November 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


The cold thrusters are dead in the water. Now relying on only the ice screws and harpoons.
posted by RedShrek at 11:18 PM on November 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


(Meanwhile, today's xkcd is a shoutout to the Philae landing. New frames are showing up one every five minutes, and are being accumulated here.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:31 PM on November 11, 2014 [19 favorites]


For Americans:

Time Zones:
EST is UTC/GMT minus 5 hours.
CST is UTC/GMT minus 6 hours.
MST is UTC/GMT minus 7 hours.
PST is UTC/GMT minus 8 hours.


Which means:

4:03 AM EST / 1:03 AM PST - Lander separation
11:03 AM EST / 8:03 AM PST - Expected landing
12:00 Noon EST / 9:00 AM PST - Earliest possible images

(According to the Planetary Society timeline linked by catblack.)
(I think I got the math right. If not, please, mods, if someone notifies you of an error, edit this comment.)
posted by benito.strauss at 11:42 PM on November 11, 2014 [8 favorites]


A true Carl Sagan moment should the landing be nominal. Don't get to use nominal much.
posted by Freedomboy at 11:48 PM on November 11, 2014


Their site countdown gives about 29 minutes to separation.

Somehow I think I may not stay up for this one. Also, as I have no lucky JPL peanuts and this is an ESA joint, what's the good luck food? Toblerone? Wine? Wine-flavored Toblerone?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:08 AM on November 12, 2014


Jeez, I hope this works.
Landing a probe on the comet's surface? That is Star Trek level shit. Awesome stuff. I'll be checking in on this all day.
Fingers crossed!
posted by drugstorefrog at 12:15 AM on November 12, 2014


Just found out 67P sings!
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:16 AM on November 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


What's even more ridiculous is that Rosetta was launched in 2004! Check out Where is Rosetta? (clock and hold to rotate view, mousewheel to zoom) to see the effort it took to rendezvous.
posted by PenDevil at 12:24 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Just read that there was a failure to activate one of the gas thrusters that would dampen a bounce if the lander comes in too fast. But they decided to go for it anyway and rely on the ice screws and harpoon. Yes, harpoon.
posted by PenDevil at 12:39 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


watching the live stream from the control room. Watching nervous people makes me nervous.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 1:03 AM on November 12, 2014


A thing just happened, and there was much shaking of hands and happy faces.
posted by hippybear at 1:06 AM on November 12, 2014


We have seperation! (hence the hugging)
posted by bottlebrushtree at 1:06 AM on November 12, 2014


The "thing" is successful separation of the lander :)
posted by theony at 1:07 AM on November 12, 2014


"we're happy it succeeded so successfully"
posted by russm at 1:10 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


To be a true Philaelander, it should contact more than one comet, no?
posted by klangklangston at 1:41 AM on November 12, 2014 [15 favorites]


Please let this one work, it would be great if the tiny proportion of human endeavour that is focused on science could catch a break!
posted by asok at 2:09 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Go lander go!
posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:26 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


... but not TOO fast!
posted by hippybear at 2:35 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Those still pics on the main link are spectacular - - a rock climber's dream!
posted by fairmettle at 2:54 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


not sure how much rock climbing you could do when there's not really any up or down.
posted by russm at 3:00 AM on November 12, 2014


You can follow the landing live on XKCD.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:07 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Has the livestream gone down for everyone else? I get a 503 backend read error when I try to load the rosetta.esa.int site.

And, of course, immediately after I post, it comes back up...
posted by Thorzdad at 4:01 AM on November 12, 2014


> Check out Where is Rosetta? (clock and hold to rotate view, mousewheel to zoom) to see the effort it took to rendezvous.

This works on smart phones, even. Don't miss it, it's amazing.
posted by ardgedee at 4:48 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Been really looking forward to this! Good luck Philæ, and the rest of the project! And yes, that animation is amazing!
posted by carter at 5:22 AM on November 12, 2014


Hope it works, can't wait to see those photos!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:36 AM on November 12, 2014


I can't get over some of those pics, the shadows, the menacing. Looks like an evil space pirate outpost. Can't wait to show these to my 6 year old later...
posted by joecacti at 5:37 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hoping this works because one day we may need to land on a comet and push it off it's collision course with Earth and I would like to have at least had one successful practice run.
posted by PenDevil at 5:37 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


.@Philae2014 :) My back is chilly now you’ve left, but I'm in a better position to watch you now. Send me a postcard! #CometLanding

For some reason I got a bit teary eyed reading this. Go lander!
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:58 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have nothing to add to this thread right now except... Yay!
posted by bondcliff at 5:59 AM on November 12, 2014


The live stream is now showing some very odd video with high production values and the guy from Game of Thrones.
posted by smackfu at 6:03 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is so exciting, and I'm surrounded by people who aren't even aware it's happening. Back in "the day", work and school would be paused as we all gathered around the TV to watch it live. Even 15 years ago when we sent Glenn back into space we were all watching. And now?
posted by Think_Long at 6:05 AM on November 12, 2014 [6 favorites]


I don't remember it like that, to be honest.
posted by smackfu at 6:07 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


And now?

Its trending top on Twitter where I am (London). We have more ways of keeping up with things now than watching TV. Guess I'll watch the livestream when we get near touchdown time. And if/when first photos come back, hundreds of millions will see them somewhere or other.
posted by memebake at 6:08 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm surrounded by people who aren't even aware it's happening.

At lunch with co-workers yesterday I was stunned at the ignorance. It would have been better if they were completely unaware, but worse, they were sort of aware.

"How do they catch up with it?"
"Won't it burn from the fire trail behind the comet?"
"I heard there's some top-secret military stuff on it."

These are grown-ups with college degrees working in a world-class IT department.

I understand not everyone is into space stuff, and I'm certainly ignorant about a lot of subjects, but some of their questions were third-grade level stuff or just total wackjob statements.
posted by bondcliff at 6:13 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't remember it like that, to be honest.

let me keep my rose-tinted spectacles please thank you
posted by Think_Long at 6:15 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


And now?

that's the problem with astro-nationalism (or Cosmo-nationalism). If this were a NASA mission there'd be more publicity in the US.

also, this is extremely great. in terms of increasingly knowledge this is probably more important than the Mars missions. you'd think Houston would be in on this given the great hopes of finding hydrocarbons on this icy rock.
posted by ennui.bz at 6:16 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Whoa-oh, we're not far from it
Whoa-oh! Landin' on a comet!
Take my hand, I'm Wallace you're Gromit
Whoa-oh! Landin' on a comet!


(Sorry)
posted by narain at 6:24 AM on November 12, 2014 [12 favorites]


I hope they haven't forgotten the crackers.
posted by bondcliff at 6:25 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Its trending top on Twitter where I am (London).

It's near the top of both NY Times and Washington Post web sites, for what that's worth. I don't think it's being ignored by the US media. (Can't speak to tv cable news, since I don't watch that.)
posted by aught at 6:28 AM on November 12, 2014


This is so cool.
posted by Fizz at 6:32 AM on November 12, 2014


Seems like that ESA Live page should have the time on it somewhere, if they are going to have everything UTC/CET.
posted by smackfu at 6:35 AM on November 12, 2014


Bleeding news from the livestream scientists/smartypants:

Telemetry from lander and probe are both good. Lander seems to be aligned properly from first photos and is currently rotating, which takes about 9 mins to complete the maneuver.

Less than 1 hour out, but with a decent window for actual vs proposed landing time.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:39 AM on November 12, 2014


I have a meeting at 11:00.

It really should be company policy to not schedule meetings during comet landings.
posted by bondcliff at 6:42 AM on November 12, 2014 [13 favorites]


Crossing my fingers for a good outcome. I'd really hate to watch live all these nervous, excited people be emotionally crushed.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:43 AM on November 12, 2014


Balls, I'll be incommunicado on a plane for the landing. Nobody post any spoilers, ok?
posted by COBRA! at 6:46 AM on November 12, 2014


Nobody post any spoilers, ok?

Wut? My sarcasm meter isn't calibrated properly at this time of the morning... but wut?
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:49 AM on November 12, 2014


Nasa TV has live coverage.
posted by HumanComplex at 6:51 AM on November 12, 2014


That image of the lander is amazing!
posted by Thorzdad at 6:53 AM on November 12, 2014


Wut? My sarcasm meter isn't calibrated properly at this time of the morning... but wut?

Turn your meter off and turn it back on.
posted by COBRA! at 6:54 AM on November 12, 2014 [6 favorites]


Is it taking pictures on the way down, and if so are those pictures available?
I'm wondering if we can see the landing site increase in detail as it goes.

(Yup, a robot harpooning a comet millions of miles away isn't sci fi enough for me, I want real time pictures!)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:54 AM on November 12, 2014


Anyone have a link to good simple live text update? Can't watch videos or tweets from work.
posted by jetsetsc at 6:55 AM on November 12, 2014


Turn your meter off and turn it back on.

Ah, now it's reading. Had to clean the dial with coffee. In the process missed the lander image flash in the livestream. Any kind person link it if they happen to see it posted elsewhere?
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:55 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Anyone have a link to good simple live text update?

F5
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:56 AM on November 12, 2014 [9 favorites]


Is it taking pictures on the way down, and if so are those pictures available?

It probably is, but there's a 30-minute lag between us and it.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:57 AM on November 12, 2014


Haha, Roland beat me to it. Was just going to link this thread back to jetsetsc.
posted by jermsplan at 6:57 AM on November 12, 2014


The cold thrusters are dead in the water. Now relying on only the ice screws and harpoons.

The beauty is that I first read this as a joke, only to find that no, it's an accurate summary of the situation.
posted by COBRA! at 6:58 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Math. Is. Awesome.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:59 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


I .. I can't help it I've gone and anthropamorphised the damn probe, and now if it doesn't land sucessfully I shall be *crushed*.

Yes I know it's utterly irrational but I can't change how I feel.

See this previous mefi thread for other people who seem to do the same: http://www.metafilter.com/143123/Calling-all-the-crouton-petters

Please land safely little probe.
posted by Faintdreams at 7:00 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]




If Kerbal Space Program doesn't have a mod for 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, swear to god, I will sit here and just stew.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:01 AM on November 12, 2014 [7 favorites]


Is it taking pictures on the way down, and if so are those pictures available?

There is a specific landing camera on board, ROLIS (Rosetta Lander Imaging System). The lander is using the Rosetta Spacecraft to transmit data to Earth (the entire lander masses 100kg, only 2.4kg is comm gear, including the antennas.)

I suspect the images are being sent live to Rosetta but stored there, what ESA wants right now is lander and spacecraft telemetry.
posted by eriko at 7:01 AM on November 12, 2014


How could you not anthropamorphize Philae? That thing is fucking adorable!
posted by Think_Long at 7:02 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thanks Thorzdad. Little guy is all business.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:02 AM on November 12, 2014


The cold thrusters are dead in the water. Now relying on only the ice screws and harpoons.

So...It has no way to slow itself down before impact? Am I reading this correctly? How fast is it traveling?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:02 AM on November 12, 2014


If Kerbal Space Program

Godwined, I mean Kermaned.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:04 AM on November 12, 2014


Kerballed, I think.
posted by nubs at 7:05 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


So...It has no way to slow itself down before impact? Am I reading this correctly? How fast is it traveling?

About 1 meter per second, 2.2 mph. There's not much gravity. This isn't landing on the Moon by any stretch, this is drift by and grab.
posted by eriko at 7:05 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Interesting. I didn't realize Philae was so small. Only about 1 cubic meter.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:05 AM on November 12, 2014


Thorzdad, slowing down isn't the problem, bouncing off is. There is only 1/10,000 g. The thruster is to hold the lander down while the screws and harpoons do their work.
posted by indyz at 7:07 AM on November 12, 2014


How fast is it traveling?

She (the livestream host) gave an altitude distance in km a few moments ago. I don't recall the value but that divided by 45 mins could give a [very, very] rough idea of speed.

About 1 meter per second, 2.2 mph.

Per eriko's numbers this means, given a 45 min time to touchdown, a height of 2.7 km. Exciting.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:08 AM on November 12, 2014


All this Europe and ESA grandstanding is a bit annoying though. It's annoying when any country does it.

While I understand why they're doing it, I was hoping that they would make this all about the science and only about the science, and if you're going to give accolades, give it to the individual men and women who made this happen.
posted by bitteroldman at 7:09 AM on November 12, 2014


What grandstanding ?
posted by Pendragon at 7:10 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


So, I get this is the first comet landing... does that mean it's also the first landing in this gravity range? I implore you, space historians and pedants hear my prayer.

What grandstanding ?

I heard it in the livestream, but only from one speaker. He just made it clear, overly much perhaps depending on your point of view, that this was all about the European this, that, and the other. All thanks to Europe. It was slightly jarring I suppose, but doesn't seem to be the theme otherwise that I've seen.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:13 AM on November 12, 2014


Mission status, according to XKCD at 25 minutes.

Rosetta: In space
Philae lander: Wheee!
Mission Control: Stuck on Earth
posted by eriko at 7:14 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


What grandstanding ?

Oh COME ON. Surely you caught how Philae is mugging for the camera, hogging the mic and doing flips as it descends.

Not cool Philae, not cool at all bro.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:15 AM on November 12, 2014 [9 favorites]


Oh cool. The harpoon isn't just an anchor/tether, it's also going to pull data on the hardness of the surface via an accelerometer. Scientists, you do not disappoint.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:15 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Go, little lander, go!
posted by kyrademon at 7:15 AM on November 12, 2014


Mission status, according to XKCD at 20 minutes.

Rosetta: In space
Philae lander: Wheee!
Mission Control: Nervous

And apparently Rosetta is relaying pictures back now. Obviously, we still have the time delay.
posted by eriko at 7:17 AM on November 12, 2014


I picked a good week to catch up on the Cosmos reboot.
posted by Think_Long at 7:18 AM on November 12, 2014


Sounds like a 28 minute signal delay...so Philae will either be down and attached or have met its fate for about half an hour before we know the outcome.

In this age of immediate gratification and sharing there's something interesting about that fact.
posted by nubs at 7:18 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah! GEEK STARING AT SCREENS! LOOKING WORRIED! THIS IS WHAT MISSIONS AT LANDING ARE LIKE!
posted by eriko at 7:19 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


I pay for ComCast highspeed, so I don't expect that long of a delay. What's the speed of light to the fastest network in the nation?
posted by Think_Long at 7:20 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Are the photos being posted somewhere or they not available to the public? I keep seeing talking heads on the live stream when I glance at it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:20 AM on November 12, 2014


What grandstanding?

C'mon. That's not grandstanding! If it were an American probe it's be trailing a giant stars and stripes, be named the "USA Military Heros' Memorial Probe," be tweeting quotes from Walt Whitman and Carl Sandberg, and have Mt Dew logos painted on every visible exterior panel.
posted by aught at 7:21 AM on November 12, 2014 [16 favorites]


I wish to hell YouTube videos played as glitch-free as this ESA stream has been.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:23 AM on November 12, 2014


BB, I've only seen or heard of the one posted upthread. I think photo posting is low priority both mentally and, as eriko mentioned, perhaps due to bandwidth concerns.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:23 AM on November 12, 2014


Are the photos being posted somewhere or they not available to the public?

My guess is that the raw photos are a bit messy and unbalanced and need a little clean up and cropping before release to the public, so there might be a lag.
posted by aught at 7:23 AM on November 12, 2014


"Moving in for a kiss." Given that harpoon I don't think we want to pursue this metaphor.
posted by stevis23 at 7:24 AM on November 12, 2014


Are the photos being posted somewhere or they not available to the public?

There's a lot of post processing needed. They shoved out that very badly blown out shot of the lander, it was there to confirm the landing legs deployed, but I suspect that most of the mission team is just watching the telemetry and sweating a lot, and once they get current dark slides and such, they'll process and release the photos.

Spacecraft cameras tend to be run full bore, they're full of noise and artifacts that has to be compensated for. They do this for the extra sensitivity they can get out of them when you run them at the limits. Our digital camera uses sensors that run well away from that threshold, which gives much smoother pictures.
posted by eriko at 7:24 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


If Philae isn't able to secure itself to the comet's surface, what with its cold thruster possibly not working, I have sad images of it bouncing off and sending a series of desperate final photos as it drifts inexorably away like a doomed astronaut in a bad sci-fi movie.
posted by bassomatic at 7:25 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm pleasantly surprised with the quality of the master of ceremonies. She's doing a really decent job of keeping things lively.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:25 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


What grandstanding ?

Yeah, maybe I spoke too soon. I probably signed on right at the point where they started saying how important this is for Europe and how Europe is now a leader, and I probably overreacted.

Apologies !
posted by bitteroldman at 7:27 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


oh I'm stuck in a meeting and can't follow the live thing; sucks!
posted by dhruva at 7:27 AM on November 12, 2014


I'm pleasantly surprised with the quality of the master of ceremonies. She's doing a really decent job of keeping things lively.

Let's agree to disagree, I want numbers, not shout outs to The Shat. Then again, I'm old and grumpy.
posted by eriko at 7:27 AM on November 12, 2014


"Moving in for a kiss." Given that harpoon I don't think we want to pursue this metaphor.

Unless we rename the probe Jian.
posted by nubs at 7:27 AM on November 12, 2014


"Moving in for a kiss." Given that harpoon I don't think we want to pursue this metaphor.

Why not, it could be a love dart.
posted by Dr Dracator at 7:28 AM on November 12, 2014


I want numbers

I'm surprised at the lack of those as well but resigned myself to said dearth already.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:29 AM on November 12, 2014


Capcom, flight, go for landing.
posted by eriko at 7:30 AM on November 12, 2014


I heard on NPR this morning that if Philae lands on large boulder it'll just topple over and the mission will be for naught. A goddamn boulder!

Space is HARD.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:30 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Livestream commenting is done, now it's just a feed of mission control folks looking sweaty and shifting from foot to foot.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:31 AM on November 12, 2014


I swear to god it sounds like someone is cranking off a film camera in there...
posted by eriko at 7:31 AM on November 12, 2014


So, with the 15 minutes to landing, is that the lander's time or our time?
Oh, relativity, and your "simultaneity is not a thing" thing.
posted by NMcCoy at 7:31 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I suspect any relevant numbers are coming in pretty quickly, as well as need some level of interpretation, and the techs are simply too preoccupied to be bothered with it for us.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:31 AM on November 12, 2014


Alas, the XKCD live landing strip has gone wrong and reverted to 2 hours.
posted by eriko at 7:32 AM on November 12, 2014


Sometimes you can't beat a Jian joke.

Unfortunately, the problem with Jian jokes is that they mention Jian.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:32 AM on November 12, 2014


So, with the 15 minutes to landing, is that the lander's time or our time?

The lander is down or a smoking crater. We find out in 15 minutes. These sorts of countdowns are for the world as much as anyone, and explain that "Well, it may or may not have landed" doesn't work. When MSL announced "We're Safe On Mars!!!", Curiosity had been down for some minutes.
posted by eriko at 7:33 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


According to xkcd even the whales are nervous.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:33 AM on November 12, 2014


Sounds like a 28 minute signal delay

(knocks on wood) In this era of online gaming, part of me can't help but imagine a scene where the harpoons fail to attach and the lander starts to drift off and the camera cuts to some young person working in the control room screaming into a headset, "FUCKING LAG BULLSHIT! I HAD YOU AND YOU KNOW IT!"

(yes I know no one is manually firing the harpoons...my kingdom for an ansible.)
posted by jermsplan at 7:33 AM on November 12, 2014 [11 favorites]


eriko...try here.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:33 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Just found out 67P sings!

That comet is not singing, that comet is purring. Apparently it likes it when you scratch it behind the rocky bits.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:34 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


The last human to see Philae refuses to say what she said to it and the announcer is giving her a bit of shit about that. Stop being so nosy about peoples relationships!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:35 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Space is HARD.

Which is why I find myself in awe as I sit in front of my computer this morning, with a live stream open in one tab, this thread open in another, discussing the fact that a small human made device is - right now - attempting to land on a comet. And I can follow, discuss, and interact with people around the world in real time about that event. The technology that goes into making this moment possible - Rosetta, Philae, the internet, the millions of computers and mobile devices people are following this from - is really something.

It's one of those moments that remind me that I am living in the future, that whatever all our collective failings are, humanity is also capable of moments of amazing achievement and audacity.
posted by nubs at 7:36 AM on November 12, 2014 [9 favorites]


This is nerve-wracking. Staring at the faces of the techs. Expecting either great joy, or...
posted by Thorzdad at 7:36 AM on November 12, 2014


Unfortunately, the problem with Jian jokes is that they mention Jian.

Sorry, my sense of humour can get weirdly inappropriate when I'm excited/anxious.

posted by nubs at 7:37 AM on November 12, 2014


Well I guess it either made it or it didn't. Now we just have to wait for signals to crawl their way over here at the speed of light before we know.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:37 AM on November 12, 2014


It would be really cool if all those screens in the control room were live on internet. I need to know what they're looking at. Next time!
posted by night_train at 7:37 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


The lander is down or a smoking crater. We find out in 15 minutes.

XKCD is disagreeing with me. Mr. Munroe says lander down and we find out in 30 minutes. I wonder about this because I would have thought they'd keep up the dog and pony show until about 15 minutes before we get word of the landing.

So, I could be wrong with that.
posted by eriko at 7:38 AM on November 12, 2014


Whale status: Calm

We're good folks. The whales know.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:39 AM on November 12, 2014


And the stream has crashed. Of course.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:40 AM on November 12, 2014


According to the ESA website, we should know at approximately 1600 UTC - or about 20 minutes from now.
posted by nubs at 7:40 AM on November 12, 2014


THERE IS NO STREAM ONLY ZUUL!
posted by eriko at 7:40 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


May the stream be the only thing that crashes today.
posted by Optamystic at 7:41 AM on November 12, 2014


THIS WAS NOT A GOOD TIME FOR THE GODDAMNED FIRE ALARM TO GO OFF AT WORK
posted by xbonesgt at 7:41 AM on November 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


Stream good for me.

Anyone (or everyone) else reading into every facial twitch and gesture?
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:42 AM on November 12, 2014


It's kind of stressful watching the scientists gesturing but not being able to hear what they're saying. Scientists gesturing is somehow ominous.
posted by marginaliana at 7:42 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm making myself insane trying to interpret the body language of that guy in the hoodie.
Every time he does anything I freak out.
posted by qnarf at 7:42 AM on November 12, 2014


NASA TV stream is now black with only crowd sounds. The ESA people didn't look happy right before the stream crashed.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:42 AM on November 12, 2014


EVERYONE IS LEANING OVER THINGS
EVERYONE STOPPED LEANING AND SHRUGGED
WHAT IT MEAN
posted by qnarf at 7:43 AM on November 12, 2014


carter status: nervewracked
posted by carter at 7:43 AM on November 12, 2014


SPACEGODS PLEASE TAKE THIS OFFERING OF XBONESGT's OFFICE IN HOPES OF A SUCCESSFUL LANDING.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:44 AM on November 12, 2014 [12 favorites]


As noted on Twitter, this is what reality TV should be.

I suspect a lot of this is just anxiety and people needing to keep busy. I don't think there's anything that they can really do right now.
posted by nubs at 7:44 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


SOMEONE SMILED!!!!
posted by carter at 7:44 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


They just came to a horrible/wonderful realization.

That's no comet. That's a space station.
posted by eriko at 7:44 AM on November 12, 2014 [6 favorites]


GLASSES LADY SMILED THEN CROSSED HER ARMS IS THIS GOOD?
posted by qnarf at 7:45 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Everyone in the top ring is looking much more confident now.
posted by eriko at 7:46 AM on November 12, 2014


Hoodie shrugged!
posted by qnarf at 7:46 AM on November 12, 2014


I am spending all afternoon anxiously waiting to find out whether a probe can successfully harpoon a comet.

Fortunately the spouse not only understands but is getting up early, halfway around the world, to watch too.

Many time zones apart, we are nonetheless staring at screens together.
posted by kyrademon at 7:46 AM on November 12, 2014 [6 favorites]


I want one of those chairs. They look so spaceship captain-esque.
posted by dnash at 7:46 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Too many shrugs. TOO MANY SHRUGS. *bites nails*
posted by Catseye at 7:46 AM on November 12, 2014


Glasses lady adjusted her glasses, what does that mean?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:47 AM on November 12, 2014


Suit jacket is texting????
posted by qnarf at 7:48 AM on November 12, 2014


They're obviously getting data. Maybe not what they were expecting?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:48 AM on November 12, 2014


They look really unhappy.
posted by freecellwizard at 7:48 AM on November 12, 2014


Modern control centers are so boring. I want the Apollo era battleship consoles back. Complete with tube system to deliver things back and forth.
posted by eriko at 7:48 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


OMG, did you see what was on their computer screens!? Log files! Log files everywhere! o_O
posted by surazal at 7:48 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


So right now how many people are sitting and waiting while watching screens of other people sitting and waiting while watching screens?
posted by nubs at 7:49 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Hoodie doesn't like something.
posted by eriko at 7:49 AM on November 12, 2014


Stream crashed, dammit.
posted by carter at 7:49 AM on November 12, 2014


eriko's alien space station idea is looking more plausible. Maybe it's the HMM The Unanswerable Retort?
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:49 AM on November 12, 2014


Starting to think of this as a revenge mission. Philae's avenging the murder the dinosaurs and will stab 67P twice, once for the dinosaurs, another for birds shitting on cars.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:49 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Noooo :(
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:49 AM on November 12, 2014


I see smiles. A stream of beans.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:50 AM on November 12, 2014


Oh, STREAM crashed. phew.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:50 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Log files! Log files everywhere! o_O

The most important command in the world: tail -f
posted by eriko at 7:50 AM on November 12, 2014 [8 favorites]


Looking somber now. Dammit.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:51 AM on November 12, 2014


Hah! I spotted a Sun Type 6 Keyboard!
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:51 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Suit jacket just hit his hand over and over and over on a table.
I think that means they're waiting. I think?
posted by qnarf at 7:51 AM on November 12, 2014


My stream is down too.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:51 AM on November 12, 2014


Glasses lady smiling and I'm hearing laughter in the background...
posted by nubs at 7:51 AM on November 12, 2014


And the stream has crashed. Of course.

The ESA video player lets you reduce the video quality to 480p from the default HD, which should be sufficient for watching on a monitor in a browser window, and which should also be less susceptible to streaming issues.
posted by aught at 7:51 AM on November 12, 2014


THEY ALL ARE TEXTING NOW WHY
posted by qnarf at 7:51 AM on November 12, 2014


Ok, that fist pounding brusquely on the table...
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:52 AM on November 12, 2014


XKCD status L+15

Rosetta: In space
Philae lander: ???
Mission Control: AAAAAAAAAA
Comet 67P: Far away
Whales: Calm
U.S. Scientitsts: AAAAAAAAAA
posted by eriko at 7:52 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'd like to think they're getting stage directions on headset: "ok, look really concerned. Ok, now shrug...shrugging, shrugging. Glasses, yawn. Hoodie, look sad, now blank. Now non-committal. Camera's coming around, switch to the youtube Taco Bell ad channel on all monitors. I SAID ALL MONITORS!!!"
posted by nevercalm at 7:52 AM on November 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


It was nice of them to all dress differently for our liveblogging convenience.
posted by 256 at 7:52 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Thought I saw hoodie guy give someone else a thumbs up...
posted by nubs at 7:53 AM on November 12, 2014


THEY ALL ARE TEXTING NOW WHY

Fantasy league waiver wire, of course.
posted by eriko at 7:53 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


There is laughing!
posted by Librarypt at 7:53 AM on November 12, 2014


Because if you had a chance to text out "Just waiting to see whether MY PROBE did the FIRST EVER SAFE LANDING ON A COMET" wouldn't you?
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:54 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hoodie guy looks like I do when the kid falls and bumps her head and you don't know if she's hurt or going to go right back to playing...
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:54 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Even Hoodie looks happy!
posted by Catseye at 7:54 AM on November 12, 2014


Smiling is HAPPENING!
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:54 AM on November 12, 2014


More smiles and laughing in that top ring. Think even hoodie guy smiled a bit.
posted by nubs at 7:54 AM on November 12, 2014


There is laughing!

I think the audio is coming from the press room, not mission control. No one's looking happy there.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:54 AM on November 12, 2014


Hoodie is trying to get an answer on his screen by force of will. Just staring a dagger at it.
posted by qnarf at 7:54 AM on November 12, 2014


Glasses lady looks like she's about to punch the photographer.
posted by 256 at 7:55 AM on November 12, 2014


I interpret this as "No answer yet".
posted by qnarf at 7:55 AM on November 12, 2014


I'm assuming that Hoodie and Glasses are the main tech people there.
Do we know who they are?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:55 AM on November 12, 2014


Definite smile from hoodie. Might just be nerves. Or maybe gas.
posted by nubs at 7:56 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love that it's an ESA / Rosetta mission-branded hoodie.
posted by aught at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2014


I dont have any audio. What's happening?
posted by dhruva at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2014


One of the other science guys (red haired two suit jackets) just took a cellphone pic of hoodie. Hoodie seemed to think that was weird.
posted by qnarf at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


"I don't know what to make of this. Rosetta just sent 'new phone who dis'"
posted by unsupervised at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2014 [13 favorites]


[takes long position in shares of ESA hoodies]
posted by jermsplan at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Hoodie is the brains.
Redhead with the coiffed hair is the looks.
Female with glasses is the muscle.
Fistpounder sitting down is the wild card.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Between watching this thread, the livestream, twitter and the XKCD comic I'm a ball of tense over this entire thing.

BALL OF TENSE.
posted by Faintdreams at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2014


When exactly is it supposed to land?
posted by Librarypt at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2014


Alastair Reynolds: "Typical EU bureaucrats forcing causality on us again."
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


More smiles, they seem to look more relaxed. I heard some brief, aborted clapping?
posted by nubs at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2014


they're probably all waiting for the camera-person to leave so that they can go back to checking their facebook.
posted by bitteroldman at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2014


This about the point where people start realizing that "around 16:00 UTC" is not "at 16:00 UTC."
posted by smackfu at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2014


Everyone got giddy for a second.
posted by qnarf at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2014


I dont have any audio. What's happening?

It's basically "rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb."
posted by eriko at 7:59 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


...and BIG smiles.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:59 AM on November 12, 2014


Giddieness continues! An answer???
posted by qnarf at 7:59 AM on November 12, 2014


Lots of smiling!
posted by Librarypt at 7:59 AM on November 12, 2014


heh, thanks. I think.
posted by dhruva at 8:00 AM on November 12, 2014


DAMMIT SERIOUS FACES AGAIN I NEED TO GO TO WORK
posted by qnarf at 8:00 AM on November 12, 2014


Wait, what's happening? People's faces look like they are melting. Oh no, that one turned his head around but his face stayed in the same place. The whole room is getting blurry. Oh no, now everyone is frozen in time! It's the end, the end, I tell y--

Oh wait, the stream crashed on me. Darn it. :P
posted by surazal at 8:00 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Alastair Reynolds: "Have I time to put the kettle on before historic success/failure in space?"

Ah, the Welsh. Always focused on the important things.
posted by eriko at 8:00 AM on November 12, 2014


I got out of my meeting. Comet landings are much more important than a Change Control Board meeting.

But the livestream seems to be stuck for me.
posted by bondcliff at 8:00 AM on November 12, 2014


I have to agree with Alastair Reynolds that the speed of light is total bullshit.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:00 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


they didn't like my joke b/c they just made my stream crash
posted by bitteroldman at 8:00 AM on November 12, 2014


I've lost the stream!!!!!
posted by nubs at 8:00 AM on November 12, 2014


Just to clarify - Philae either has already landed (or failed to land), and we are just in the lag time for the results to be communicated?
posted by Think_Long at 8:01 AM on November 12, 2014


Old dude in red tie: "How do I explain this to the budget committee?"
posted by Thorzdad at 8:01 AM on November 12, 2014


Did anyone else just see a GORILLA walk by?!?
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:01 AM on November 12, 2014 [6 favorites]


C'mon Schwartz.
posted by popcassady at 8:01 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


XKCD status L+5

Rosetta: In space
Philae lander: ???
Mission Control: AAAAAAAAAA
Comet 67P: Far away
Whales: AAAAAAAAAA
U.S. Scientitsts: AAAAAAAAAA
Dolphins and fish: Um, why are those whales screaming?
posted by eriko at 8:01 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hoodie's grinning!!!
posted by Thorzdad at 8:02 AM on November 12, 2014


Just to clarify - Philae either has already landed (or failed to land), and we are just in the lag time for the results to be communicated?
Right, it's half a light hour away. Stupid relativity.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:02 AM on November 12, 2014


Think_Long: yes.
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:02 AM on November 12, 2014


live stream also on http://www.cbc.ca/news for any Canadians here
posted by bitteroldman at 8:02 AM on November 12, 2014


How am I not supposed to anthropomorphize something that has all its little arms and legs sticking out?
posted by cmyk at 8:02 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


And I think it's important to note that the outcomes here are not just binary success/fail:

-land and attach
-crash and burn
-bounce away
-miss & drift aimlessly until found by aliens who come looking for "Rosetta" who abandoned it
posted by nubs at 8:02 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Glasses girl looks like she's working hard to stifle a big laugh!!!
posted by Thorzdad at 8:03 AM on November 12, 2014


Isn't there someone on the comet who can send us good pictures from a different perspective?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:03 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm afraid to quickly run to the bathroom lest my having waited to pee is the only thing determining success or failure.
posted by nevercalm at 8:03 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think it's also important to note that people make facial expressions even when they have no news.
posted by smackfu at 8:03 AM on November 12, 2014


wooo!
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:03 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


YESSSSSSS
posted by freecellwizard at 8:03 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Boom! Headshot to comet!
posted by 256 at 8:03 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wooooo!!!
posted by uncleozzy at 8:03 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yay!!!!
posted by carter at 8:03 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


YASSS
posted by Dee Grim at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


DOWN!
posted by eriko at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


we have applause, repeat, we have applause!
posted by xbonesgt at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Cheering!
posted by dabug at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


HUGS! CHEERS!
posted by qnarf at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


Note, livestream.com also has a stream of the Important People in front of monitors.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


FUCK YEAH ROSETTA
posted by tonycpsu at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


Cheering! HUGGING!
posted by dnash at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


CHEERING!
posted by bondcliff at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


Thanks CBC! Got the feed back in time for the cheers and hugs!
posted by nubs at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


HUZZAH!
posted by PROD_TPSL at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


Happy mission control!
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


landed?
posted by bitteroldman at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


HAPPINESS!! CHEERING!!! CELEBRATIONS!!!!
posted by narain at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


Yes!
posted by Catseye at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


Lots of cheering going on!
posted by debagel at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


WHOOOO!!
posted by korej at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by troika at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


SHIT I'm crying. I never cry!!
posted by freecellwizard at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hoodie?
posted by aught at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


We're down!
posted by jontyjago at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


landed!
posted by bitteroldman at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


CHEERS
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


Holy shit!
posted by valkane at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


We found Hoffa!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wooooo!
posted by marginaliana at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


Huzzah!
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


Wiping of brow...
posted by Thorzdad at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2014


FUCK YEAH SPACE.
posted by Freen at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2014


Nice work, primates
posted by theodolite at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2014 [12 favorites]


My "live"-stream lagged Metafilter by about 20 seconds.
posted by smackfu at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Philae Lander @Philae2014 · 48s 48 seconds ago
Touchdown! My new address: 67P! #CometLanding
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


YAY
posted by Librarypt at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2014


yey!
posted by leotrotsky at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2014


Holy shit, my stream is behind.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2014


We landed on a comet! Whoooo!
posted by carter at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2014


I can breathe!
posted by qnarf at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2014


1... 3... 8... 5...
posted by PROD_TPSL at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2014


"There is telemetry coming"
posted by carter at 8:06 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Fantastic!!!!
posted by zerobyproxy at 8:06 AM on November 12, 2014


hmmmm.
posted by xbonesgt at 8:06 AM on November 12, 2014


Nominal. BEST FUCKING WORD IN THE WORLD IN SPACEFLIGHT.
posted by eriko at 8:06 AM on November 12, 2014 [8 favorites]


And both streams I was watching just crashed, after all the cheers. WHAT DON'T THEY WANT US TO SEE?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:06 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nominal is the best word in space.
posted by cmyk at 8:06 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Twitter says it there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Thorzdad at 8:06 AM on November 12, 2014


OMG THEY LANDED A THING ON A COMET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:06 AM on November 12, 2014


WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
posted by kyrademon at 8:07 AM on November 12, 2014


oh god, did it hold on?
posted by jermsplan at 8:07 AM on November 12, 2014


awkward hugs and high-fives all around!
posted by bitteroldman at 8:07 AM on November 12, 2014


This is the best time to be alive.
posted by marginaliana at 8:07 AM on November 12, 2014




¡BRAVO!
posted by Omon Ra at 8:07 AM on November 12, 2014


Typical. First thing it does it check in: Hipster robots
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:08 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Telemetry indicates that we have landed on some sort of...Little Prince?"
posted by unsupervised at 8:08 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think we're still waiting for confirmation about whether the harpoons stuck.

There was some confused conversation at the desk about what the altitude numbers meant.
posted by 256 at 8:08 AM on November 12, 2014


Statement!
posted by mountmccabe at 8:08 AM on November 12, 2014


Science rocks.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:09 AM on November 12, 2014


"We definitely confirmed that the lander is on the surface!"

YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY
posted by cmyk at 8:09 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's made of.......Cheese?

I dunno lad it's like no cheese I've ever tasted.
posted by edgeways at 8:09 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Confirmation: Sitting on the ground.
posted by eriko at 8:09 AM on November 12, 2014


"sitting on the surface." "talking to us."

fuck yeah!
posted by xbonesgt at 8:09 AM on November 12, 2014


Harpoons worked.
posted by eriko at 8:10 AM on November 12, 2014


\o/
posted by PROD_TPSL at 8:10 AM on November 12, 2014


Mic drop! So cool!
posted by valkane at 8:10 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Scientist: We are on the comet!

/mic drop
posted by jermsplan at 8:10 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Best inadvertent mic drop ever.

"We are on the comet."

*THUMP*
posted by cmyk at 8:10 AM on November 12, 2014 [8 favorites]


Hoodie is making an announcement:

"We definitely confirmed that the lander is on the surface."
[...]
"Philae has confirmed that the harpoons are holding on. The landing gear is retracted. Philae is sitting on the surface."
[...]
"Philae is on the comet!"
posted by 256 at 8:10 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Harpoons have fired, landing gear retracted, we are on the comet"
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:10 AM on November 12, 2014


I bit Philae is pissed that it's just a rock. They probably promised it something grander "Dude, there's gonna be beautiful trees, warm sand, you'll love it..."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:11 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


And now the speeches.
posted by smackfu at 8:11 AM on November 12, 2014


WOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO !
posted by Faintdreams at 8:11 AM on November 12, 2014


Whoa, Dr Bunsen Honeydew is French.
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:11 AM on November 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


"The biggest problem of success, is that it looks easy."
posted by PROD_TPSL at 8:12 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


I wonder if Randall is going to update that cartoon all day now.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:13 AM on November 12, 2014


Wow Wow WOW!!!!!
posted by From Bklyn at 8:13 AM on November 12, 2014


"Cooperation among 20 nationalities"
posted by homerica at 8:13 AM on November 12, 2014


I can't help but feel a little sad to think that Philae has successfully landed in its final resting place.
posted by nubs at 8:16 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Randall is going to update that cartoon all day now.

Why not? You know he's watching it anyway.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:17 AM on November 12, 2014


nubs don't be sad, it's fulfilled it's purpose. It knew it was a one way trip. I'm convinced it's a happy robot.
posted by Faintdreams at 8:17 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Incredible. As an English speaker, I am so amazed/humbled that all of these brilliant people use English as a common language.
posted by zerobyproxy at 8:18 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


don't feel bad for Philae, nubs. It's not done traveling, it just finally found its seat on what will be a long cruise around the solar system.
posted by jermsplan at 8:18 AM on November 12, 2014 [10 favorites]


I can't help but feel a little sad to think that Philae has successfully landed in its final resting place.

Not final, it's just moved from it's old ride to it's new one. It can do laps around the sun for as long as it likes now.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:18 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


xdck:

"Hey, Earth! It's Philæ. I got you a comet."
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:18 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can't help but feel a little sad to think that Philae has successfully landed in its final resting place.

Then for the love of God, don't read this comic about the Spirit rover.

*sniff* every time.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:19 AM on November 12, 2014 [7 favorites]


No European country can do a mission of this scale on their own. Only by working together we can accomplish it.

--UKIP's flipping out here.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:19 AM on November 12, 2014 [7 favorites]


This is the best final resting place Philae could have. When you consider that the other options were "trapped and mute until the power runs out" or "tumbling forever through the vacuum of space with its instruments trying to work and failing" I think this is the happiest of endings. After 11 years, Philae is home.
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:19 AM on November 12, 2014 [8 favorites]


...I still feel bad about that IKEA lamp.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:20 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah, once you upgrade your mode of transportation to comet, you should probably give it a rest to let everyone else catch up a bit.
posted by 256 at 8:20 AM on November 12, 2014


"Knew this was one way ticket, but you know I had to come..."
posted by PROD_TPSL at 8:20 AM on November 12, 2014 [8 favorites]


We need to send more robots to keep it company.
posted by cmyk at 8:21 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Philae is not resting. Philae is riding on the back of a comet! It is whizzing through space at 135,000 kilometers per hour! Philae is shouting YAHOOOOOOO!!!!

(... also, doing science.)
posted by kyrademon at 8:22 AM on November 12, 2014 [6 favorites]


Watched man walk on the moon? Check.
Watched Hubble open the universe to us? Check.
Watched them land multiple rovers on Mars? Check.
Watched them put a lander on a freakin' comet? Check!

It's been a good time to be alive, space-science-wise.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:22 AM on November 12, 2014 [22 favorites]


Does anyone know does the comet have an official name / designation?
posted by Faintdreams at 8:23 AM on November 12, 2014


Now, for the DATA!!!

Now, for SCIENCE!!!
posted by PROD_TPSL at 8:24 AM on November 12, 2014


XKCD status .

Rosetta: In space
Philae lander: Landed
Mission Control: Proud
Comet 67P: Here
Whales: Calm
U.S. Scientists: Proud
Dolphins and fish: OK
Have we landed on a comet?: YES.
Do harpoons work on comets?: YES.
Earth: Proud
posted by eriko at 8:24 AM on November 12, 2014 [8 favorites]


OK, everyone, I will just continue to ride the excitement of this then! I think we're going to learn some fascinating things as the comet continues towards the sun.

Go Philae!
posted by nubs at 8:24 AM on November 12, 2014


What a feat of engineering to land this thing on a comet.
posted by RedShrek at 8:25 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's been a good time to be alive, space-science-wise.

We also landed a thing on Titan, left the solar system, orbited Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus.

As long as my son has been alive there have been humans continuously occupying a space station.
posted by bondcliff at 8:25 AM on November 12, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yes stretch out your hands into infinity you human things
Past blind moons and ice cream worlds
You hurl your metal ball of dull intelligence
And show us all our fragile grip
As we too track with you
Slower but no less insistent
Like the only fertile seed
In the barren vault of being
Sail on

posted by cmyk at 8:25 AM on November 12, 2014


Now, for the DATA!!!

Now, for SCIENCE!!!

Now for the talking first, oy.
posted by eriko at 8:25 AM on November 12, 2014


Does anyone know does the comet have an official name / designation?


Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko
posted by Think_Long at 8:25 AM on November 12, 2014


Does anyone know does the comet have an official name / designation?

67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko
posted by Pyrogenesis at 8:26 AM on November 12, 2014


Ok that was cool, but when are second and third lander due to separate and make their attempts?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:26 AM on November 12, 2014


67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Now aka "Philae's Sweet Ride"
posted by nubs at 8:27 AM on November 12, 2014 [7 favorites]


aww, polo shirt moment.
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:27 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Some live telemetry from Philae. Anyone know what this means? Or if there are other sources?
posted by bassomatic at 8:29 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm a bigger fan of robotic exploration rather than manned missions at this time for these reasons. Cheers to our mars rovers and Philae...
posted by judson at 8:31 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


...I still feel bad about that IKEA lamp

I still feel bad about the Mars Rover.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:34 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Dammit I forgot to set a reminder and I missed it. Is there a not-live-stream-but-i-can-pretend for those of us too dumb to use an alarm clock?
posted by Poldo at 8:35 AM on November 12, 2014


YAY!
posted by Kevin Street at 8:35 AM on November 12, 2014


Some live telemetry from Philae. Anyone know what this means?

That both the Primary Battery and the Y-Ebox have malfunctioning thermal sensors?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:35 AM on November 12, 2014


"Hollywood is good; Rosetta is better".
posted by MartinWisse at 8:36 AM on November 12, 2014


This 3 min animation about Rosetta and Philae is the CUTEST THING EVAR!!!!
posted by Faintdreams at 8:37 AM on November 12, 2014 [10 favorites]


This NASA guy would make a good model for a Muppet.
posted by bondcliff at 8:38 AM on November 12, 2014


I can't even do this in Kerbal Space Program
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:38 AM on November 12, 2014


Anyone know the lifespan of the lander/orbiter now that it's on the comet? How long do they expect to get data from it? I'd imagine eventually the comet will go too far away, or the orbit will decay, or the giant comet slugs will feed on the lander's wires.
posted by bondcliff at 8:41 AM on November 12, 2014


I can't even do this in Kerbal Space Program

Try it on Gilly, it's pretty easy in terms of just falling, but staying there is the hard part, especially with just thrusters.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:41 AM on November 12, 2014


I missed it too, Poldo. But if I'm understanding this right, there was no live video from the comet? (Really not sure.) I think the lander takes still pictures, and the scientists will show them later when they come in.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:41 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Rosetta mission is planned to run until December 2015, but if enough fuel remains in the spacecraft’s tanks, mission controllers may extend its life by six months and give the mother ship more high-risk tasks, such as flying through one of the gas and dust jets streaming from the comet. Philae has initial battery power to last 40 hours but will then switch to rechargeable ones replenished by sunlight.

The lander could continue working until March next year, when the electronics will become too warm to work properly. Even when Philae packs up, it may still cling on to the comet, perhaps for several 6.45-year-long laps around the sun, before enough material erodes from the comet’s surface for the lander to lose its grip. (Guardian)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:42 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Sometimes we humans get it right.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:42 AM on November 12, 2014


Damn, the anchors did not shoot.
posted by RedShrek at 8:43 AM on November 12, 2014


Anyone know what this means?

First graph is temps on five sensors, though two of them are reporting off-scale low, and I suspect that CIVA, which is the infrared camera, is (probably) off-scale high. It's probable that what we're really seeing there is that those systems haven't been turned on yet, though I suspect the battery is a failed sensor. The plan is to run first on one battery alone, then recharge a second battery and run on that.

The bottom graph is electrical current at various places. I suspect the first two are bus current, the next two are solar panel current, and the last three are battery charge/discharge.The plan is to run first on one battery alone, then recharge a second battery and run on that. This goes well with the last three lines "PSSH (power sub system ????)_C(current)_SBat/PBbat(secondary/primary battery) and then CH(Charge) and DCH (Discharge).

Sure enough, we're seeing a discharge rate of about 1.5A currently on the primary battery, and .5A on the secondary battery. We're seeing almost no charging on the secondary. The HPC_IN and LPC_IN are showing some current, totaling about .8A, I'm assuming this would charge the secondary battery but right now is probably being shunted into a heater.

ESS is the electrical support system, the power controller, MSS was responsible for firing the harpoons and screwing in the legs, it's now monitoring internal body temp of the probe.
posted by eriko at 8:43 AM on November 12, 2014 [7 favorites]


But they seem to think they can re-deploy the anchors, I think?
posted by uncleozzy at 8:43 AM on November 12, 2014


Yes, it's stable on the surface. It didn't bounce.
They might retry the anchors.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:45 AM on November 12, 2014


Do harpoons work on comets: YES.

Well-said, XKCD. Hooray for Philae and Rosetta!
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:46 AM on November 12, 2014


Try it on Gilly, it's pretty easy in terms of just falling, but staying there is the hard part, especially with just thrusters.

Yea Ive been to Gilly and captured a few asteroids, I meant more the part about catching a freaking comet and then landing on it. The asteroids in KSP are stupidly close in comparison, and Gilly is always in a predicable orbit.

Plus I always cheat and turn off signal delay when Im using remotetech 2. I hate signal delay.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:46 AM on November 12, 2014


Hmm.

Harpoons didn't fire after all, and they're not confident the thrusters fired. They're now really worried that they might have bounced, and they're considering trying to refire the harpoons. Escape velocity here is on the order of 1.1m/s, so a bounce is very possible, and if they retained half the velocity, it's going to come right back off.

Newest tweet states a very gentle touchdown, based on landing gear damping amount. If they landed slower than escape, it'll stay.
posted by eriko at 8:49 AM on November 12, 2014


I remember being really excited about this in 2004 and trying to explain it to people, only to get blank stares in return.

I'd totally forgotten about it until late last night. It's amazing to me how these missions can span a significant fraction of a person's lifespan. Think back to where you were 10 years ago when this launched.
posted by heathkit at 8:50 AM on November 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


HUMANS! HUMANS! HUMANS! HUMANS! HUMANS! HUMANS!
posted by PenDevil at 8:52 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pics or it didn't happen!

What? Really? Oh, okay, then. Cool.
posted by Naberius at 8:53 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


The most amazing thing to me is that we did this with pre-2004 technology. The iPad hadn't been invented (or at least released) yet, and smart phones were still kind of curiosity. It was a literally a different world for consumer technology back then, and given the lead time on a project like this I'm guessing there is very little tech on the comet from this century. I don't know how the pace of change in consumer tech relates in space exploration, but still. They did this with mostly "old" technology by todays standards.
posted by COD at 8:55 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Can they tell whether they landed on rock or on ice? If they refire the harpoons on rock, would it not just push the probe off into space?
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:56 AM on November 12, 2014


I thought the thrusters were not working.
posted by RedShrek at 8:57 AM on November 12, 2014


> "If they refire the harpoons on rock, would it not just push them off into space?"

I believe that it is thought that the rock would be so riddled with holes where ice used to be that the harpoon will be able to shoot right through it.
posted by kyrademon at 8:59 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, I guess it's not a done deal yet. I fully understand why the public needs to get out of the way and let them do their work, but I would so love to know what's going on right now at mission control.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:01 AM on November 12, 2014


http://www.reddit.com/live/tw0cnch7nxjx/
posted by RedShrek at 9:03 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


The ESA way of doing public relations seems quite different from NASA's. It's more about experts giving briefings after the fact and less about live streams and on air presenters.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:03 AM on November 12, 2014


Looking more at the telemetry, I notice PSSH2_C_LCL1_M and PSSH2_C_LCL1_R both dropped to 0 a few hours ago. I suspect this was power connectors to Rosetta, which powered the probe before separation.
posted by eriko at 9:04 AM on November 12, 2014


xkcd have dialled back their enthusiasm:

Rosetta: In space
Philae lander: ???
Mission Control: Anxious
Comet 67P: ???
Whales: Calm
U.S. Scientists: Nervous
Dolphins and fish: OK
Have we landed on a comet?: YES.
Do harpoons work on comets?: Don't know
Earth: Confused
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:06 AM on November 12, 2014


Philae Lander Tweets!
posted by Mister Bijou at 9:10 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


If Philae isn't firmly anchored but is stable on the surface, most of the science can still happen, but two experiments, MUPUS and SD2, will be in danger. MUPUS (MUlti-PUrpose Sensors for Surface and Sub-Surface Science) require shoving a probe into the surface, and SD2 (Drill, Sample, and Distribution) requires drilling. If the lander isn't firmly anchored, they can't risk activating those, there's more than enough force to push the lander off the comet.
posted by eriko at 9:10 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Honestly, if it landed and stays landed without being attached to the comet, that's actually more impressive than if it had been anchored. The landing velocity was juuuuuuuuuust right (hopefully!)
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:13 AM on November 12, 2014


If they refire the harpoons on rock, would it not just push them off into space?

Yes, if the harpoons fire and don't hold, there would be more than enough force to push them back off. If the thruster was working, they could fire that to hold them down, then try the harpoons, but the fuel tank valve failed and won't open.

If they fire and grab, Philae would be pushed off the comet, but then could be reeled back in.
posted by eriko at 9:13 AM on November 12, 2014


Good twitter feed here: Emily Lakdawalla from the planetary society

confirmation that stability is uncertain but some science is happening.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 9:15 AM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


"It's going to take Philae mission controllers some time to understand how stable they are, but in meantime everything is working great. Yay!" (@elakdawalla)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 9:16 AM on November 12, 2014


Emily Lakdawalla has gone for a glass of wine. I find this reassuring.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:18 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


My gut feeling (on very limited data) is that if they feel that they're not dealing with more than 1.1m/s velocity, they know they'll stay there. They'll run all the other science, then look at how to save the MUPUS/SD2 experiments -- possibly by firing the harpoons and hoping they can reel back in.

But this really depends on how stable the lander is. The lander gear compression (4cm) was such that they're pretty sure they're on a soft surface. It may be that that harpoons won't be able to grab anything.
posted by eriko at 9:18 AM on November 12, 2014


I find this reassuring.

Part of this is reality. You can worry yourself into a grave coming up with scenarios, and when you know more data is coming, it can be best to just let it go and wait for the data.

Me? I've got coffee, I'm good.
posted by eriko at 9:19 AM on November 12, 2014


From the Philae Lander Twitter feed, 18 separate tweets:

Touchdown! My new address: 67P! #CometLanding
Gelandet! Meine neue Adresse: 67P! #CometLanding
Atterrissage! Voici ma nouvelle adresse: 67P! #CometLanding
Atterrato! Ecco il mio nuovo indirizzo: 67P! #CometLanding
Landoltam! Az új címem: 67P! #CometLanding
Perillä! Uusi osoitteeni on: 67P! #CometLanding
¡He llegado! Mi nueva dirección: 67P! #CometLanding
Ik ben geland! Mijn nieuwe adres is: 67P! #CometLanding
Landet! Min nye adresse: 67P! #CometLanding
Lądowanie! Mój nowy adres: 67P! #CometLanding
Touchdown! Min nye adresse: 67P! #CometLanding
Přistání! Moje nová adresa: 67P! #CometLanding
Προσγείωση! Η νέα μου διεύθυνση: 67P! #CometLanding
Touchdown! Min nya adress: 67P! #CometLanding
Nusileidau! Mano naujas adresas: 67P! #CometLanding
Piezemēšanās! Mana jaunā adrese ir: 67P! #CometLanding
Am aterizat! Noua mea adresă: 67P! #CometLanding
Приземление! Мой новый адрес: 67P! #CometLanding

Oh, Europe!
posted by benito.strauss at 9:20 AM on November 12, 2014 [11 favorites]


An aside, but there's some pushback on an... unfortunate... choice of shirt to wear today by one of the ESA staffers who is doing presentations.
posted by metaquarry at 9:21 AM on November 12, 2014 [6 favorites]


Hmm, just after the wine bit, "Yes, McCaughrean confirmed this. RT @JPMajor: @elakdawalla So the ice screws on the lander's feet have at least dug in I assume?"

If the ice screws are actually in the soil, that bodes well. Those are the primary anchors. The question is did they screw into soil, or just extend into space? You can tell by looking at the current on the drive motors, it will be significantly higher if they're drilling through material than it would be if the drill is just spinning in free space.

I really want *all* the telemetry, darn it!
posted by eriko at 9:24 AM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Another factor. The comet itself is heading towards perihelion in August 2013. As it gets closer to the sun, it'll become more active, that will make holding on harder. Perihelion is a long way out, though, 1.23AU, so we're not looking at a sun grazer by any means.
posted by eriko at 9:26 AM on November 12, 2014


For those of you watching the NASA coverage, ESA continues to broadcast here, though it's screamingly boring.
posted by eriko at 9:31 AM on November 12, 2014


MUPUS (MUlti-PUrpose Sensors for Surface and Sub-Surface Science) require shoving a probe into the surface, and SD2 (Drill, Sample, and Distribution) requires drilling.

getting a proper sample seems like the most exciting science the lander could accomplish.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:32 AM on November 12, 2014


Man, I hope they can find a way to stick... I keep thinking about the poor Beagle...
posted by rouftop at 9:34 AM on November 12, 2014


getting a proper sample seems like the most exciting science the lander could accomplish.

No doubt. But if they're not anchored, there's no guarantee that they'll get a sample if they try to drill, the drill just might push off them off the comet. So, yeah, they'll do everything they can to get that sample, but they're going to try to maximize the total science gathered, so they'll probably wait until those experiments have taken a good amount of data before risking it.
posted by eriko at 9:35 AM on November 12, 2014


Meanwhile, in the USA!
posted by Naberius at 9:39 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ahh, the harpoon confusing comes clear. They got the telemetry that the rewind motors activated, and missed the harpoons not firing. Unknown why, they might have just gotten stuck after all that time in space.
posted by eriko at 9:42 AM on November 12, 2014


A Joke, Presumably.

Fox: "Why did America waste money landing on a comet?"
Scientist: "This is a European mission."
Fox: "Why didn't America get there first?"
posted by benito.strauss at 9:44 AM on November 12, 2014 [19 favorites]


I haven't been this nervous about a space exploration mission since we landed Curiosity on Mars.
posted by RedShrek at 9:45 AM on November 12, 2014


First image. Taken from satellite of landing site?
posted by benito.strauss at 9:47 AM on November 12, 2014


Sticking the landing would be nice. Even so, nice job to date.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:47 AM on November 12, 2014




First image.

FYI, ROLIS stands for Rosetta Lander Imaging System. I didn't know what it meant, had to look it up.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:53 AM on November 12, 2014


First image. Taken from satellite of landing site?

Even better. Taken by the lander's camera on the way in.
posted by cosmac at 9:53 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, in the USA!

If I were king of the internet I would make all blogs have a big old "What the hell am I looking at here" link in the sidebar. I mean, I looked it up eventually, but it would be nice if they would just tell me.

Orion is a pretty cool thing that I did not know about, thanks for the link!
posted by narain at 10:00 AM on November 12, 2014


"Machines really like to do something. They like to do what they're built for... to me, Voyager is happy, because it's the bravest satellite of all. And it's not lonely, because it's talking to us."

Philae is okay. It's happy, because it's doing what it's built for.

/crouton-petting
posted by cmyk at 10:05 AM on November 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


Orion is a pretty cool thing that I did not know about, thanks for the link!

The Orion test launch should be fun to watch because it's going up on one of these beasts.
posted by HumanComplex at 10:09 AM on November 12, 2014


BBC Live Feed

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02b23kv
posted by RedShrek at 10:28 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Orion test launch should be fun to watch because it's going up on one of these beasts.

Yep. 7000kg more to LEO (200km@28°) than the Saturn IB. One reason I'm confident in this combo is NASA knows how to make capsules, and the Delta IV Heavy is a proven booster, with six successful launches. There was an early shutdown on the first one, which was a test flight without a commercial payload.

So, I'm confident that, if they can man-rate the Delta IV H, that this will be a workable booster for LEO work, even if SLS is cancelled or runs into problems. It certainly won't get you to the Moon or Mars directly, but you could do an Earth Orbit Rendezvous mission where you make three or four launches -- one of the unfueled spacecraft, one or two of a big tank of fuel and oxidizer, and one with the crew and supplies. Dock the spaceship to the fuel tank, get on board, and go. Three DIVH launches into LEO is 84000kg, four would be 112,000kg, which is comparable to the Saturn V (118,000kg)

Of course, it's easier to build everything down here and launch it all at once, but nobody currently has a 100,000kg to LEO booster.
posted by eriko at 10:33 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


How difficult would it be to man rate the Delta IV Heavy? I'm assuming they aren't because of politics (SLS means money to many districts).
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:37 AM on November 12, 2014


ESA briefing live at 1830Z. Well supposedly, given that it's 1837Z.
posted by eriko at 10:37 AM on November 12, 2014


How difficult would it be to man rate the Delta IV Heavy?

It's been built with an eye to man rating all along. Really what it needs are more sensors to detect engine conditions that would require an abort, and more telemetry.
posted by eriko at 10:39 AM on November 12, 2014


The asteroids in KSP are stupidly close in comparison...

So what you're saying is that you need to capture an asteroid, strap a booster to it, send it in larger and different orbit around Kerbol and then try to capture that?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:41 AM on November 12, 2014


Briefing postponed until 1900 UTC.
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:42 AM on November 12, 2014


> "Philae is okay. It's happy, because it's doing what it's built for."

As far as I can tell, Philae is having Exciting Space Adventures.

Phliae is shouting "Never tell me the odds!" at Mission Control while its top thruster goes out and it skews into a spin.

Philae is jamming down the button for the harpoons and nothing is happening.
"This landing is gonna get pretty interesting," Philae says.
"Define 'interesting'," Misison Control messages back.
Philae shrugs. "Oh god oh god we're all gonna die?" if offers, deadpan.
It switches the controls to manual.
"I am a leaf on the wind," it mutters. "Watch how I soar."

"Philae, Philae, are you there? Did you make it?"
A pause.
"Philae, Philae, come in! Please answer! Philae, please listen to me, *please*, goddammit, you dragged me back from the bottomless pit, you can't leave me here *alone* now, please ..."
A longer pause.

"Space," Philae is sending back while cheers erupt in the control room. "The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Philae. Its ten-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before."

Philae is doing what we dream ourselves doing.
posted by kyrademon at 10:45 AM on November 12, 2014 [64 favorites]


That gave me the chills, kyrademon, literally.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:51 AM on November 12, 2014




kyrademon, I love everything about that comment.
posted by cmyk at 10:53 AM on November 12, 2014


The asteroids in KSP are stupidly close in comparison

EVERYTHING is close and small in KSP, actually. Kerbin, Mun, Earth, Moon. The real question is what the hell is Kerbin made of that allows it to have one gravity at the surface! Earth's density is 5g/m3, for Kerbin to have the 9.8m/s2 that it does, it has to have a density of almost 58.5g/m3. Given that lead has a density of 11g/m3, and Uranium is about 19g/m3, we can see why we can't ever dent Kerbin itself, no matter how much explody we put in the rocket. One does wonder how those mountains over there near KSC are standing.

It is a game, after all. You only need 4.5km/sec of ΔV to reach orbit, rather than Earth's 10km/sec.
posted by eriko at 10:54 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


@kyrademon, Damn!!
posted by RedShrek at 10:56 AM on November 12, 2014


Supposed to be a live briefing from ESA starting at "four minutes ago". Hasn't started yet, though.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:05 AM on November 12, 2014


Starting @ http://rosetta.esa.int/

Images promised.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:10 AM on November 12, 2014


live update coming now.
posted by xbonesgt at 11:11 AM on November 12, 2014


This is a faster feed

http://www.livestream.com/dlrlive
posted by RedShrek at 11:13 AM on November 12, 2014


"We landed at the right place... on the right comet" (laughter)
posted by mountmccabe at 11:13 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Maybe today we didn't land just once, we landed twice"
posted by mountmccabe at 11:18 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd really like it if Matt Taylor's shirt became a three wolf moon-type meme. this tweet had me in stitches and inspired me to write my own.
posted by Perko at 11:18 AM on November 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


So live feed chap said it might have bounced slightly. Then possibly the regular loss and regain of radio signal and solar power was lander rotating (I think he means rotating sideways while keeping legs pointed at ground). Something to do with the flywheel stopping on landing may have caused this rotation when the lander bounced. Then the regular loss/regain of signal settled down, perhaps meaning the lander settled again. Hence his comment "Maybe today we didn't land just once, we landed twice". But he says this is all speculation ...
posted by memebake at 11:22 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd like it if it (the pin-up shirt) would just disappear.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:22 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


So the dlrlive feed cut to the German-language commentator at the end, and as he left someone in the media asked him (in English) "Why you cannot be as excited and jumping as the woman on ESA?"
posted by benito.strauss at 11:25 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Actually, I think the pinup shirt is pretty apropos for humans:

We just did something amazing! Now let's do something stupid!

Still though. Happy Philae is down, for any value of down that doesn't include 'crashed'. It's hard not to anthropomorphize it, with its little legs and sorta face with cute antennas.
posted by quin at 11:34 AM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]




I see the ESA's trying to invent their very own NASA mohawk guy. Remember back when not everything had to be viral?
posted by tonycpsu at 12:02 PM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


An aside, but there's some pushback on an... unfortunate... choice of shirt to wear today by one of the ESA staffers who is doing presentations.

I'm mixed on it. The combination of Royo-esque cheesecake and Hawaiian print is either a complete disaster, or performance art. It probably would go better with a pink trilby, clown nose, and trick cigar.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:13 PM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


The shirt is just inappropriate. No need to over-think it, it's a shitty shirt to wear in the workplace, any workplace, even (or especially) on this incredible day.
posted by Rumple at 12:44 PM on November 12, 2014 [15 favorites]


I'm pretty sure there is a story behind that shirt and why it was worn today. That's not the kind of shirt you just accidentally choose out of your closet. Maybe it's a lucky shirt or has some significance personally or whatever.
posted by hippybear at 12:58 PM on November 12, 2014


Besides being inappropriate (why would you wear that on Press Day?!?!), the shirt is fucking ugly.
posted by maryr at 1:14 PM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


You probably really don't want to see what that guy wears when his soccer team is playing.
posted by localroger at 1:41 PM on November 12, 2014


Maybe it's his lucky shirt. And it worked. So there.
posted by smackfu at 1:56 PM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe it is, so what, throw a sweater over it.
posted by troika at 2:13 PM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't think you want to see his sweaters.
posted by mubba at 2:17 PM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


The shirt is gross, and it is gross that no one told Dr. Taylor to take that gross shit off before he went on camera. He also had some gross things to say:

'Speaking today at mission control, Rosetta’s chief scientist is Dr Matt Taylor said: “Rosetta is the sexiest mission there has ever been. I say she is sexy - but she is not easy.”'

link

gross
posted by palindromic at 2:20 PM on November 12, 2014 [10 favorites]


"Sublimation is the process of transforming libido into "socially useful" achievements, including artistic, cultural and intellectual pursuits." : with this guy, we've got both sides simultaneously.
posted by nicolin at 2:26 PM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


“Rosetta is the sexiest mission there has ever been. I say she is sexy - but she is not easy.” - Dr. Matt Taylor

Such brazen misogyny... on such a momentous day.

I hope he keeps catches enough encouragement from friends, colleagues, and... well... The Internet that he embraces a choice to change his view in a positive direction. One that is respectful to all.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 2:37 PM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


> Maybe it's his lucky shirt. And it worked. So there.

"Maybe it's cursed. And it's the reason the harpoons didn't fire. So there."

See, it's just making us all stupider.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:38 PM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ugh. I can't wait to hear his views on ethics in gaming journalism.
posted by condour75 at 2:41 PM on November 12, 2014 [9 favorites]


I mean I'm a sucker for the kind of throwback fantasy psychedelia that has been known to feature a few naked women. But I don't think I'd wear *any* of those to a press conference.
posted by atoxyl at 2:50 PM on November 12, 2014


Actually...
posted by kmz at 2:56 PM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


As Meg Rosenburg (@trueanomalies) tweeted a bit ago:

"Well done, whoever coined the term #shirtstorm!"
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:03 PM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Look I just want to know when we're going to find out if there's an ancient cosmic evil trapped in the comet ice
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:04 PM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


eriko: EVERYTHING is close and small in KSP, actually.

1/10th as close and small, iirc. If Kerbin was in our solar system its orbit would be well inside Mercury's. (Space is big. Really big.)
posted by nathan_teske at 6:05 PM on November 12, 2014


An open letter:

Hey Matt,

Hi. I’m Tim. I do some science. Some is good. Today, I managed to screw up one calculation, but I compensated by writing a paragraph for a paper that I think makes a nice compelling argument for some thing that may interest a few of my colleagues. This does not amount to much, since you contributed to landing a robot on a comet. But in terms of scientific achievement, I still come up way ahead today; and so do many, many other scientists over the world.

Want to know why? How is that possible? Simple. We managed not to alienate and objectify our female colleagues today.

I know, that’s crazy, right? Want to know how? We woke up this morning, and thought, Hey, perhaps I should dress like an asshole today. Then we realized that it would be ridiculous, and that no one in their right mind would do so.
.....

posted by Rumple at 8:36 PM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


One of my absolute favorite shirts is a vintage Hawaiian shirt, dark blue, whose pattern has a fair amount of women in oh so vintage swimsuits. I'm not sure most people would look at it an think it was even semi-egregiously objectifying women. Maybe what most people think is besides the point, but I think the controversy over scantily clad women on shirts mirrors the kind of ethical dilemmas created in art vs pornography arguments.
posted by Perko at 9:04 PM on November 12, 2014


This article makes the good point,


"Interestingly, Taylor recently participated in a live online chat with the Wall Street Journal in which he was asked how he gained acceptance in such a respected field while sporting sleeve-length tattoos.

He responded, "The people I work with don't judge me by my looks but only by the work I have done and can do. Simple."

If only women could hope to someday be judged that way too."
posted by Rumple at 9:17 PM on November 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Casting it as a discussion of women on shirts, and not as a discussion of images of scantily clad women in the workplace, on the day when the entire world is looking at your workplace, is an act of either the blithest ignorance of the effect one's actions have on other people, or the most unconvincing feigned ingenuousness I've come across in a long time.

I'll clarify what I mean by "effect one's actions have on other people". I entered school in the sciences at the tail end of the time when women were being pushed out of the field just for being women, sometimes with a bare statement like "we don't want any more women here". It seems that talk like that is going away (I hope), but there are still lots of ways people can make women feel unwelcome in the sciences. In light of the past we're trying to shake off I think we should not create environments like that. His shirt is going to be off-putting to many women - some men too, and of course some women will conversely think it's cool - but I think the vast majority will find it unpleasant, so what's the point of offending that many people?
posted by benito.strauss at 9:42 PM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Twitter conversation from the Romap project:

https://twitter.com/Philae_ROMAP/status/532676580787896320?s=09

@Philae_ROMAP magnetic field analysis revealed 3 landings at 15:33, 17:26 and 17:33 UTC

@Philae_ROMAP does this mean #Philae is not stable on the surface?

@LitsaPavlidou is stable now!

Like bumping up high first,then low?

@ronpatz exactly ...


The thing did a big slow low grav bounce for 2 hours, then a small 7 min one, then settled. Amazing.
posted by memebake at 9:45 PM on November 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Casting it as a discussion of women on shirts, and not as a discussion of images of scantily clad women in the workplace, on the day when the entire world is looking at your workplace, is an act of either the blithest ignorance of the effect one's actions have on other people, or the most unconvincing feigned ingenuousness I've come across in a long time.

That's a might bit harsh. It really all depends on your loci of control-- how much effect you think your actions have on somebody else, and how much effect you let other people's actions have on your own. There's few more relativistic subjects. I'm reminded of an old Zen story. From one perspective, that scientist is wearing those women. From another, it's the people who are incensed that he's wearing them that are carrying their pre-existing, culturally-conditioned weight.
posted by Perko at 10:03 PM on November 12, 2014


I really don't think its unfair. C'mon, the whole world watching and he chose to wear that? That guy needs to give his head a shake. It is not difficult to not be an ass.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:27 PM on November 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


It is not difficult to not be an ass.

God how I wish that were true...
posted by From Bklyn at 10:57 PM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


it's the people who are incensed that he's wearing them that are carrying their pre-existing, culturally-conditioned weight.

Of course. Aren't we all? And is there anything wrong with that?

We live in a world that operats the way it does, and by doing so, it has helped shape us and our views.
In that world, and with the views I have, I would REALLYREALLY prefer it if my colleagues do not wear pictures that show pin ups. It's just unprofessional. It doesn't belong in a work environment and it doesn't do anything to help me feel safer or more welcome.

That said:
YAY Rosetta and Philae! What an amazing thing to do. How great that we (as in humankind) pulled that off.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:07 AM on November 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


Too-Ticky: "YAY Rosetta and Philae! What an amazing thing to do. How great that we (as in humankind) pulled that off."

I don't want to dismiss any degradation of any portion of humanity, but, could we maybe get back to the above sort of discussion? I'm counting on this thread to be my "best of the web" source of the latest and greatest info on this mission, and I think that was the original intent of the thread, so can we please get back on that topic?
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 12:23 AM on November 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


First photo from the surface, shows a lander leg and some shadowy rocks
posted by memebake at 1:57 AM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Twitter: @elakdawalla: Mark McCaughrean says we have 7 CIVA images on the ground and one of them is looking at sky. Means Philae is at least sloping, poss. on side
posted by memebake at 2:37 AM on November 13, 2014


So if you look at the shadows on that photo, e.g. the shadow of the lander leg on the rock, looks like Lander is probably lying on its side. Sky = to the left of photo, Ground = on the right.
posted by memebake at 2:39 AM on November 13, 2014


I would love to see the complete ROLIS imagery from the landing. Does anyone know how regularly it fired?

Also, given CIVA is panoramic, I guess it can be added to google street view.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:40 AM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]




"It is magnetic field data from Philae’s ROMAP instrument that revealed the three ‘landings’. The first was almost exactly on the expected arrival time of 15:33 GMT. Philae then rebounded by hundreds of metres. In the weak gravity of the comet this bounce took about 2 hours. It touched the surface again at 17:26 GMT and bounced again before coming to rest at 17:33."

Source: The Grauniad live updates
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:08 AM on November 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Philae has ended up 1km away from the planned landing site after bouncing and may also have damaged the solar panels.
The new location gives it only 90 minutes of sunlight every 12 hours and there is currently 50ish hours of backup battery power.

Eight out of ten instruments reporting.

Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer and a bit of the Multi-Purpose Sensors for Surface and Sub-Surface Science (MUPUS) are not currently running due to power requirements and because they require movement, which might destabilise Philae.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:40 AM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


If its on its side, I vote do a few days of science and then FIRE THE HARPOONS to see if it can grip onto something and turn itself over : )
posted by memebake at 4:47 AM on November 13, 2014


..looks like Lander is probably lying on its side

I told Rosetta not give Philae any liquor at that going away party.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:22 AM on November 13, 2014


Panorama of the surface-facing CIVA cameras:

https://twitter.com/elakdawalla/status/532887101235560448

Its pretty dark but you can see the three legs; hence the Lander is the right way up. They think its in a shadowy part of the comet though because only 90mins sunlight per 12 hours.
posted by memebake at 5:38 AM on November 13, 2014


So basically Philae is an emo teenager who retreated to the darkest room on the comet.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:45 AM on November 13, 2014 [5 favorites]


According to an interview with a member of the Rosetta Science Team (sorry, link in Danish), it was not a surprise that the harpoons did not work. An identical set of harpoons kept in vacuum for ten years (!) also failed. They tried a workaround, but it didn't work.

Trust the echo chamber of the internet to concentrate on the clothing choices of scientists on a day like this.
posted by bouvin at 7:03 AM on November 13, 2014


Ah, the New Scientist liveblog has new data: Two legs on the ground.
posted by bouvin at 7:19 AM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]




Jesus Christ Philae, sober up, roll over and put all your legs on the ground? Why can't you be more like your cousin, Curiosity? We didn't see you to prep school on that Comet just so you could embarrass us!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:44 AM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here's a version of the panorama with Philae sketched in to show its orientation.

It's a shame the landing didn't go smoothly, it was such a beautiful approach. But now there's some exciting problem-solving going on. Already some question about whether it's possible to flex the landing gear to make the thing hop. And concern about whether it's safe to deploy the sensor modules that require mechanical actuation.

As Karen James said, "So while we were all celebrating the comet landing, Philae was in the middle of a 2hour "bounce"? Looks like xkcd has a little more work to do."
posted by Nelson at 8:21 AM on November 13, 2014


Someone clarify for me -- can we still Do Science even if Philae is on its side? Is there significant risk to the little guy because of how it's oriented at this point?
posted by tzikeh at 8:52 AM on November 13, 2014


The biggest concern I've read about is lack of solar illumination, meaning not much power.

Probably linked here already, but Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society has done a great job tweeting news.
posted by Nelson at 8:55 AM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


This video (warning: autoplays) of a scientist reacting to learning that Philae landed is genuinely delightful.
posted by Vibrissa at 8:58 AM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Those photos from the surface are amazingly indecipherable. Looks like there isn't a movable camera on Philae, just six microcams to take panoramas. Booooo, was hoping they'd be able to pan around or up and see what's what.

Science peeps! Make space for a camera that takes shots us rubes will understand and be awed by. You're competing with Hollywood.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:09 AM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


I heard Neil Degrasse Tyson just tweeted that he has no quibbles with the science of Rosetta, which he judged to be "solid", but that he felt the highly-suspenseful landing sequence was "a bit contrived". He also thought the happy ending was "predictable" and "too hokey" for his tastes.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:20 AM on November 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Maybe they're just copying that Blair Witch type of shot, where the characters are filming themselves and drop the camera out of fright, so all the horrible action takes place outside of a fixed frame. Isn't it so much more dramatic to try to figure things out from a few snatched images? That's Hollywood, baby!
posted by benito.strauss at 9:22 AM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Watching the rerun of this morning's webcast. Ulamec, the head of the Philae lander team, estimates that the first "bounce" lasted for two hours, during which Philae got approx. 1 km in height and ended up 1 km away, though they're not quite sure exactly where they've ended up.

They flashed an image showing the initial landing site (red square), and where they think they ended up (blue diamond). (That's a screen cap of a web video, so pardon the quality.) Ulamec pointed out the cliff in the blue diamond area as the place they might have ended up.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:40 AM on November 13, 2014


> "Someone clarify for me -- can we still Do Science even if Philae is on its side? Is there significant risk to the little guy because of how it's oriented at this point?"

My understanding:

1) Yes. It's doing Science and it's still alive!

However, there are a couple of problems --

2) It's in an area that doesn't get a lot of sunlight, possibly next to a cliff wall. Since it's designed to mostly run on solar power after the first couple of days, that's problematic unless it's moved. I don't think it's clear yet whether that would be a mission-ending-earlier-than-desired problem, something that means they can't do a couple of the most energy-intensive experiments, or somewhere in between.

But Philae is designed so that it can move a little if need be, in little hops. Unfortunately --

3) It's on its side, and unsecured. That means it's not yet clear if moving Philae still even possible, and if it is, whether doing so might accidentally push Philae right off the comet by accident. There's a similar risk to running some of the experiments that involve moving parts.

So, basically, they're most likely right now trying to figure out how long Philae is likely to last as is, how high-risk it is to try moving it around or doing certain experiments, and if there is some risk, how long to wait to let other experiments run before they try it, if they try it at all.

Nonetheless, even with just the information already obtained, this was a triumph.
posted by kyrademon at 9:45 AM on November 13, 2014 [7 favorites]


It is designed to do almost all it's experiments within the first 60 hours so science will be done regardless.
posted by PenDevil at 10:16 AM on November 13, 2014


Those photos from the surface are amazingly indecipherable. Looks like there isn't a movable camera on Philae, just six microcams to take panoramas.

I'm not sure to what extent this applies during the current phase (and might be more about photos from Rosetta than from the lander), but this article suggests that the team in charge of the optics equipment has been particularly stingy with releasing photos, as is apparently their prerogative as the primary source of funding for that equipment? The article suggests we'll have access to a lot more types of pictures six or so months from now.
posted by nobody at 1:44 PM on November 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Fucking awesome. Congrats to the ESA.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:47 PM on November 13, 2014


Scientists land on comet traveling 84 thousand mph over 300 million miles away and yet people still doubt the science of climate change?
posted by Freen at 1:53 PM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


It really sucks that what looked like a landing turned into a huge bounce that ended up in a dark spot. However, everything from here on in is icing on the cake so I'm trying not to let it get me too down.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 2:11 PM on November 13, 2014


Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer and a bit of the Multi-Purpose Sensors for Surface and Sub-Surface Science (MUPUS) are not currently running due to power requirements and because they require movement, which might destabilise Philae.

Poland cannot into space :(
posted by um at 2:19 PM on November 13, 2014


and yet people still doubt the science of climate change?

The comet is getting warmer and humans don't have anything to do with that, right?
posted by localroger at 3:23 PM on November 13, 2014


I'm pretty sure there is a story behind that shirt and why it was worn today.

A friend of his made that shirt and she is apparently pretty happy he wore it on the occasion.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:51 PM on November 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Scientists land on comet traveling 84 thousand mph over 300 million miles away and yet people still doubt the science of climate change?

"There's nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear." - Daniel Dennett
posted by memebake at 12:53 AM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm enjoying the comments on this bbc article (sorted by least popular)

Some of my favourites:

"Jeea, how short sighted. They should have put some Duracell batteries in the thing rather than just relying on solar panel (didn't they realise that the sun goes dark every twelve hours or so?)"
Yup, because that's what night time is, the sun going dark every so often.
(Many many comments suggesting they should have put some batteries in it, specifically duracell batteries)

"All that planning and work and they didn't stick a nuclear rod on it just in case? They knew this could happen, this is ridiculous."
They shoulda asked that guy, he'd have sorted it all out for them.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:48 AM on November 14, 2014


I'm sure the scientists and engineers would have loved to have stuck some RTGs on Philae, among other things, but there were probably design and cost considerations. The funny part is that it does have batteries, which would be charged by solar light, but Philae had to go bouncing all over the place and not anchor itself, so there's a little difficulty with things right now.

One solution is to send another spacecraft to another comet, using all the nifty information we learned from this mission. :)
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:28 AM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's a lot of battery capacity on Philae and the primary science mission was designed to operate solely on battery power. Which is what's happening now, from what I've read. ESA has been very careful to talk about this mission as a big success, with most of the science goals achieved. Unfortunately because the primary press story was the crazy landing technology and that part failed, it looks like a failure. It's not and I hope once some of the science gets released folks will switch to appreciating how much as accomplished and how resilient the lander has turned out to be.

I'm thrilled by the continued discussion about trying to move the lander with the flywheel or landing gear struts. You're in a low gravity environment, why not try? Sounds like they're concerned there won't be enough power to do anything though, and also wanting to get all the primary science done first before risking anything.

Meanwhile, in the ongoing struggle for women to be treated like human beings.. Emily Lakdawalla, the Planetary Society reporter whose tweets I like so much, has some depressing tweets about being afraid to do some online videos because of all the "vile comments" they might attract. Fucking kills me to see women I respect have to worry about this kind of harassment.

At least Taylor apologized for his stupid shirt.
posted by Nelson at 6:31 AM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Universe Today: Concerns over ESA’s Data Release Policy Amidst Rosetta Comet Landing. Lots of details on the politics.
posted by Nelson at 7:37 AM on November 14, 2014


ESA has been very careful to talk about this mission as a big success, with most of the science goals achieved

Isn't that because most of the science goals were pre-lander? Obviously defining a success is pretty fuzzy, but on the lander side, it seems like failure of all the attachment methods, an extremely shortened mission as a result, and not being able to even use all the science experiments is not great.
posted by smackfu at 7:40 AM on November 14, 2014


Yes, let's keep the public from the awesome photos that'll interest them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:41 AM on November 14, 2014


(Many many comments suggesting they should have put some batteries in it, specifically duracell batteries)

Coincidentally(?), Berkshire Hathaway is purchasing Duracell. I wonder if there is some social media manipulation going on. (Could also be that Duracell's advertising has been particularly effective, or that the tweeters all read the business news.)
posted by five fresh fish at 7:55 AM on November 14, 2014


Yes, the Rosetta Mission already did most of it's science before launching Philae.
The lander mission was considered a long shot extra bonus.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:56 AM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Philae: The Biggest Jump Ever

So, Philae bounced twice before coming to a halt. 'Bounce' does not quite describe it correctly. Philae did by far the biggest #jump ever. The f*cking tallest, longest, slowest JUMP ever done by a human made object (including humans). Without using thrusters, just by pushing off from a rock. That's something for the Guiness Book of Records.

And Philae was lucky as hell. It jumped about 1 km high and 1 km wide on a rock barely 2 km large. Had it jumped only a little bit more, then it would have missed this side of the comet and probably crashed head first into some other part. Philae jumped off very slowly at about 1/5 walking speed. Had it been twice as fast, then it would have left the comet entirely and it would be lost in space by now.

posted by fairmettle at 7:57 AM on November 14, 2014


I don't really have time to properly figure it out, but if Philae masses 97.9 kg and impacted at a speed of 1 metre per second and the comet masses 1e13 kg, how much deflection did that cause?

Like, I know it's going to be micro-micro-micrometers (or quadrillionths of an arc second or whatever) but it's got a long long way to go. might it add up?
Does this count as the first deflection of an asteroid ever achieved or is it such an incredibly tiny amount that it'll make no difference in the lifetime of the universe.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:12 AM on November 14, 2014


Does this count as the first deflection of an asteroid ever achieved

Not an asteroid, a comet, and not the first; that would have been Deep Impact's 820 pound "bullet" which slammed into comet Tempel 1 at orbital velocity.
posted by localroger at 8:20 AM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


'Bounce' does not quite describe it correctly.

This seems like someone who doesn't understand the difference between a bounce and a jump, and just thinks a jump is bigger than a bounce.
posted by smackfu at 8:25 AM on November 14, 2014




Coincidentally(?), Berkshire Hathaway is purchasing Duracell. I wonder if there is some social media manipulation going on.

Wouldn't that make Duracell more expensive for them to purchase?
posted by dirigibleman at 8:29 AM on November 14, 2014


I don't know. They parked an orbiter around a tiny and fast object that's poorly understood, discovered that it had really strange geometry, and still managed to get a lander on it, all involving butterfly-scale gravitational forces. I suspect that perfect missions are a minority, even when we're going to well-studied and familiar places.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:50 AM on November 14, 2014


Another visualization of the bounce.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:57 AM on November 14, 2014


So this is pretty interesting: Is That Comet We Landed On, Singing?
posted by Kevin Street at 2:15 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


They've just got signal from Philae, so the battery lasted long enough for this (possibly) last communication ... I think this means they might try and move it by hopping ...
posted by memebake at 2:34 PM on November 14, 2014




There's drilling too!
posted by popcassady at 2:46 PM on November 14, 2014


Rotation seems to have been a success. Not sure if that gets Philae into more sunlight.
posted by PenDevil at 3:09 PM on November 14, 2014


Rotation after landing, AND drilling? This is some serious Kerbal shit going on.

Many probes have little LEGO figures attached, I hope in the future the Shapeways Jeb will also come as standard-issue for spacecraft.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 3:13 PM on November 14, 2014


Poor little lander. So tired. Sleep well. See you when the sun shines.
posted by popcassady at 3:36 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


If you couldn't handle Up or Wall-E, I would suggest that you not follow Philae's twitter account. Really.
posted by maudlin at 4:02 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


So, is Philae dead? I'm confused.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 4:08 PM on November 14, 2014


Resting. Pining. Preparing for the worst. But not dead yet. And if Philae does die, solar resuscitation is still possible, if that shady area just gets enough sun as the comet continues in its orbit.
posted by maudlin at 4:11 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


(... and if Philae doesn't get too damn cold for too damn long.)

Oh, man. Ed Yong is really taking this badly. Laptop: "Your battery is low (10%)". TOO SOON, LAPTOP, SHUT UP.
posted by maudlin at 4:18 PM on November 14, 2014


The link's still up, but Philae is running on fumes. About half an hour left to LOS, but it's unlikely the battery will hold up.

However, they've just broken out the champagne in mission control...
posted by Devonian at 4:26 PM on November 14, 2014






Aw dang it. ESA pulled off an amazing feat, got some amazing pix and data that I look forward to seeing more of. I sure hope we get a signal back, but I guess we should hope for too much.

@elakdawalla: "The screens in the ESOC's main control center are going dark one by one. Lights out." I'm heading towards maudlin, and then I remember, holy shit I just saw a photo from the surface of a comet. I never would have expected that, and love having MeFi space exploration threads the share the excitement with. Thanks, everyone.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:12 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


I love this: Distant Horizons, Distant Surfaces.
posted by bondcliff at 6:31 AM on November 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wake up, Philae! Shine in the right place you stupid sun!
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 6:37 AM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Love the surfaces. And I've been thinking that it's a new type, with so many more small spiky features. I guess they'd be due to lower gravity and the famous jets from near-sun heating. Someone could have predicted them, but now I've got an image of exactly what they look like.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:09 AM on November 15, 2014


The MUPUS twitter account is one of the best overall collections of what has been going on with Philae.

MUPUS is Philae's "MUlti PUrpose Sensor". It's measuring thermal and physical properties on the comet surface.

MUPUS result summaries are coming in now via the twitter feed--in fact, they are still in progress. VERY interesting:
Results (1) First off: some reported MUPUS results as found in media are wrong. They never asked us. @Philae2014 @ESA_Rosetta

Results (2) MUPUS TM worked fine throughout the whole timeline and sees a very cold steep wall in front of us @Philae2014

Results (3) TM sees clear diurnal temperature signal. Around local noon direct sunlight on that wall caused a steep temperature increase...

Results (4) ... and also steep temperature drop shortly after. Data indicate low thermal diffusivity and fluffy substance @Philae2014

Addressing the questions about that fluffy stuff: have to speculate. Best guess tiny mineral grains and organics fluffy like cigar ash

Results (5) The anchors still below Philae in shadow see the diurnal heat wave as well and at the same time as TM and the solar panels

Results (6) Penetrator was deployed to the commanded distance. Remember that device had not been switched on since 2002

Results (7) Temperature inside PEN dropped significantly compared to status before deployment.Might have hit a pile of stuff on the way out

Results (8) Another instrument saw better performance thereafter - we might have changed Philae's attitude

Results (9) Hammering started as intended in the lowest of 3 power settings (expecting a fluffy soft surface)

Results (10) The depth sensor shows some up and down but no progress. The control loop increased to power setting 2

Results (11) depth sensor still shows no progress. Control loop goes to power setting 3. Still no progress!

Results (12) This means that the stuff is really hard! A very interesting finding, not visible from orbit!

Results (13) We have a secret power setting 4. Nicknamed "desperate mode". Beyond the design specs. We activated it

About the 'desperate mode' The truly genius designer of the hammer, Jerzy Grygorczuk, always said "be careful with power mode 4. And...

Check the twitter feed for the rest of the story!
Video of MUPUS at work here, description of MUPUS in Emily Lakdawalla's blog post here, MUPUS details here.

This is going to re-write what we know about comets, IMHO. As near as I can tell, they found a whole lot of things quite different from what they were expecting.
posted by flug at 10:53 AM on November 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


This is the greatest - seriously. The landed a washing machine on a comet ... I mean, the mind boggles
posted by From Bklyn at 11:17 AM on November 15, 2014


MUPUS result summaries are coming in now via the twitter feed--in fact, they are still in progress.

Here is a Storify that has the whole sequence--it will be buried and hard to find on Twitter soon, I fear.
posted by flug at 11:46 AM on November 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure there is a story behind that shirt and why it was worn today.

A friend of his made that shirt and she is apparently pretty happy he wore it on the occasion.


Here's her comment on the shirt.
posted by homunculus at 12:32 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]




Can't tell if this was linked here already, but Emily Lakdawalla posted a story on her Tumblr about getting to be in the control room with the mission team, watching as Philae went to sleep, or as "the main bus voltage plunged", as the scientists say. It's a sweet story about a robot.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:41 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sleep well, Philae. I hope we hear from you again.
posted by nubs at 11:01 AM on November 16, 2014


Sproing, sproing, thump.

/Da questo sito.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:47 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not sure of the source, but here's a montage of images showing the lander's bouncy journey. Bad luck, or maybe it bounced into the cliff and stopped. Also quite a carom after the first bounce. (via burritojustice)
posted by Nelson at 9:52 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


What if Philae turns into a zombie?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:02 AM on November 17, 2014




Escape velocity is 0.5 MPS, a slow shuffle of the feet.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:09 PM on November 17, 2014


'Organic Molecules' detected on comet.

Sorry it's a fairly thing news site, I'm a bit too much "at work" to go digging for decent sources.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 9:34 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


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