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EU Space

Rosetta Team Proposes Landing On Comet To Finish Mission 35

schwit1 writes: Rather than simply turn off the spacecraft when its funding runs out at the end of 2015, Rosetta's science team has proposed that the mission get a nine-month extension, during which they will slowly spiral into the comet and gently land. Their proposal is similar to what American scientists did with their NEAR spacecraft, which hadn't been designed to land on an asteroid but was successfully eased onto the surface of Eros, where it operated for a very short time.
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Rosetta Team Proposes Landing On Comet To Finish Mission

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 31, 2015 @06:40AM (#49808493)

    What's more important is that they all wear shirts that don't hurt fragile women's minds

    • It should be reversible. Sci-fi pinups on the outside. If anyone objects, flip it around to expose even more explicit images and a caption: 'I landed a robot on a comet, I can wear whatever I want.'

      • Next to the guy with the "Naked-girls" shirt, let the second interviewee be one of the female scientist wearing a shirt with "masochistic men in bondage" printed picture on it.

    • Last time they wore silly shirts they messed up the landing. I fail to see why they should be given a second chance.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What the hell is everyone talking about?

    • Re:Uh, T-Shirts? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Sunday May 31, 2015 @01:38PM (#49809859)

      Here's the info: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Rosetta+s... [lmgtfy.com]

      Short version:

      A team of sceintists and engineers spent many years and millions of dollars to land a spacecraft on a comet -- an unprecedented achievement in human history. One of the scientists wore his lucky shirt which depicted anime characters.

      Feminists and gender warriors decided that landing a spacecraft on a comet wasn't important -- their supposedly hurt feelings about the pictures on the shirt were the only thing worth talking about that happened that day. Rather than telling the gender warriors to go fuck themselves (or, more appropriately, to go achieve something themselves before coming back and making demands), the scientist was forced to make a tearful apology.

      In some circles, this has led to a backlash against the gender warriors. So every time anyone achieves anything significant, people say "What really matters is what kind of shirts they were wearing!" - as a reminder of the incident, and a way to contrast achievement versus entitlement.

      • Re:Uh, T-Shirts? (Score:4, Informative)

        by geniice ( 1336589 ) on Sunday May 31, 2015 @05:32PM (#49810803)

        "A team of sceintists and engineers spent many years and millions of dollars to land a spacecraft on a comet -- an unprecedented achievement in human history."

        Nope. Deep Impact managed the first landing. Philae managed the first, second and third softish landings.

        "Feminists and gender warriors decided that landing a spacecraft on a comet wasn't important -- their supposedly hurt feelings about the pictures on the shirt were the only thing worth talking about that happened that day."

        Err no. There was some criticism of the shirt yes but there was no suggestions that the wider landing shouldn't be talked about (although since at that point the ESA were still keeping the initial data from the landings under wraps there wasn't much to discuss).

        "Rather than telling the gender warriors to go fuck themselves (or, more appropriately, to go achieve something themselves before coming back and making demands), the scientist was forced to make a tearful apology."

        No he wasn't. I assume the PR people told him to apologise but the tears were entirely optional. Of course given that they were trying to spin multiple failures into a success story there not completely slick handling of the matter can be forgiven.

  • Since it would remove one lump of orbiting hardware from the Solar System which would otherwise end up being an un-tracked bit of debris, then that is a non-trivial argument for them trying this. Otherwise who knows what orbit the spacecraft would end up on?

    Eventually, as the comet erodes, then both parts of the spacecraft would end up in orbit, but within the (mildly unpredictable) envelope of the comet's other natural ejecta, which doesn't really add to the space-debris problem. Though where the launch c

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