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Moar space robots!

It's taken ten years to get there, but early Wednesday, November 12 Central European time (from about 1 AM to 8 AM, which is about 5 PM to midnight Pacific time), the European Space Agency will land a craft on a comet. Their Rosetta spacecraft got to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko three months ago, and has been in a weird jagged "orbit" around it ever since. Now its attached lander, Philae, is being prepped to detach from it.

All the pre-flight stuff is going to happen when I'm busy at a conference next week, and the actual flight and grand finale landing, if it is successful, will happen in the middle of the night. Good luck to the ESA. #cometlanding

Two videos related to this. The first is more cutesy space stuff, but it's also part of a rather brilliantly accessible series of cartoons promoting and explaining their mission.



The other video is a short art film the ESA collaborated on that I believe is a promo for a longer, upcoming science fantasy film, "Ambition" about the life-creating chemicals and water of comets:

Comments

masqthephlsphr
Nov. 10th, 2014 12:18 pm (UTC)
Isn't it though? Holding my breath. When the Indian Mars Orbiter went into orbit last month, I was a nervous wreck. It's like being a sports fan watching the World Series or the final game of the Olympics, but with much bigger stakes.
midnightsjane
Nov. 11th, 2014 04:11 am (UTC)
I know! I've actually found myself tearing up a bit watching the Mars Rovers in action. It just makes me feel a sense of being connected to the greater universe somehow.
masqthephlsphr
Nov. 11th, 2014 11:58 am (UTC)
You're not the only one. Occasionally, when there is a big deal event like this, I go to the live twitter feed or Youtube feed set up for it. It's like a geekfest.