Friday, 22 Jan 2021
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A total of eleven instruments on the Rosetta spacecraft and ten experiments on the Philae lander, several of which DLR is contributing to, will collect data on this first close encounter with the comet. The OSIRIS dual camera system on the spacecraft will use its narrow-angle channel to observe the nucleus and its wide-angle imager to examine the environment surrounding the comet. The scientists will use these images to select the landing site on P67/Churyumov-Gerasimenko best suited for Philae. The Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) has been designed to analyse the surface of the comet and its temperature from the orbiter. As Philae touches the comet for the first time, a harpoon will be fired to penetrate the surface and prevent the lander from 'bouncing' back into space. The following experiments developed at DLR will be on the Philae lander: the ROLIS camera will image the comet's surface during and after landing; the SESAME experiment will perform seismic investigations on the comet; and the MUPUS instrument will measure a wide range of physical parameters.
Credit: ESA.