OSIRIS imaged Philae in flight

On November 12, 2014, Rosetta’s lander Philae made its historical descent towards the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where it bounced twice, and finally came to rest at a third touch-down in a yet unknown location. The OSIRIS camera imaged the bumpy ride.


Mosaic of OSIRIS Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) images acquired from a distance of about 15.5 km from the surface. The resolution is 28 cm/pixel and the enlarged insets are 17 x 17 m. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

The mosaic of OSIRIS images above covers 30 minutes of action, including the first touch-down. Images taken before and after first contact shows the marks made by the landing gear. All times are GMT. Philae comes flying in from the left at around 0.5 m/s, and bounces the first time at 15:43 GMT. It then takes off towards its second bounce, that took place at 17:25 GMT. It finally came to rest about seven minutes later. We’re all working hard to figure out where it is now!

The scientific imaging system OSIRIS was built by a consortium led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (Germany) in collaboration with CISAS, University of Padova (Italy), the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (France), the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucia, CSIC (Spain), the Scientific Support Office of the European Space Agency (The Netherlands), the Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (Spain), the Universidad Politéchnica de Madrid (Spain), the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Uppsala University (Sweden), and the Institute of Computer and Network Engineering of the TU Braunschweig (Germany). OSIRIS was financially supported by the national funding agencies of Germany (DLR), France (CNES), Italy (ASI), Spain (MEC), and Sweden (SNSB) and the ESA Technical Directorate.


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