Subject: Philae Lander Update
From: Alex Kemp
Date: Tuesday, 23 June 2015 22:18:51 +0100
To: Oliver Kemp, Micaela Kemp, Liisa Kemp, Davin Kemp

There's not a lot of info coming out currently, but this will update us on what is known since the awakening.

The Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR, the German Aerospace Centre) (works on Philae lander)
CONSERT: Comet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radio wave Transmission (actually on Rosetta but interacts with lander)
APXS: Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer
CIVA: Comet Infrared and Visible Analyser
CIVA-P: seven identical cameras that produced a panoramic image from Philae's resting site. It is designed to characterise the landing site, mapping the surface topography and the albedo (reflectivity) of the surface. Two of the cameras are aligned so as to produce stereoscopic images.
CIVA-M: two miniaturised microscopes, one of which operates in visible light and the other in infrared. These are mounted on the base plate of the philae lander and are designed to analyse samples delivered by the SD2 system for texture, albedo and mineral composition.
COSAC: Cometary Sampling and Composition (this one is designed to identify organic, carbon-based molecules).
Ptolemy: similar to COSAC & also fed by SD2 system, mass spectrography with 4 ovens, designed for light elements (CNO)
MUPUS: Multi Purpose Sensors for Surface and Subsurface Science (temperature sensors fastened to a 35 cm long penetrator)
ROLIS: Rosetta Lander Imaging System (downward-pointing miniaturised CCD camera)
ROMAP: Rosetta Lander Magnetometer and Plasma Monitor
SD2: Sample Drilling and Distribution
SESAME: Surface Electric Sounding and Acoustic Monitoring Experiment(3 combined):
CASSE: The Cometary Acoustic Surface Sounding Experiment
PP: The Permittivity Probe
DIM: The Dust Impact Monitor

67P is darker than our moon. The ESA photos make it look like snow in places, but that is because the albedo of the photo has been altered. That darkness comes from organic material. Scientists are fantastically excited by this!

67P (and all comets) are 4+ billion year old remnants of the proto-solar cloud from which this solar system was made. Therefore, the fact that 67P turns out to be ice & dust held together by organic stuff (rather than dust + organics held together by ice) says that those organics were synthesized within that fantastically ancient cloud and has thus accreted within the bulk of 67P, is being ejected when heated & thus coats the surface. The scientists are desperate for more experiments to get more data.

Officially, Rosetta finishes December 2015. They are hoping to get funding to continue until September 2016. They then plan (possibly) to spiral Rosetta slowly down to rest on 67P's surface. For eternity.

Alex Kemp