Part of the Rosetta spacecraft will land on a comet! Here is what an artist thinks it might look like.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of ESA
Part of the Rosetta spacecraft will land on the comet. The comet is much
smaller than a planet, so gravity is very weak. The engineers who
built the lander had to make sure it doesn't bounce when it lands. When the
lander touches down, it will shoot harpoons into the icy surface of
the comet. Cables from the harpoons will help hold the lander down!
Rosetta will land on the nucleus of Comet
Churyumov-Gerasimenko. When Rosetta was built, it was supposed to land on
a different comet. There were problems with the rocket that will take Rosetta
into space. Rosetta had to wait
while engineers fixed its rocket. The new comet
is bigger than the old one. It has stronger gravity, so Rosetta will be going
faster when it lands. The engineers had to make the lander's legs better so it
would be ready to land on the bigger comet. Rosetta is ready to go now!
The lander has instruments that
will measure the types of chemicals found
the surface of the comet. It also has small drills that will dig into the comet,
so we can find out what is "underground". The lander also
has cameras that will show us what it looks like to stand on a comet!
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