The Rosetta space probe - rendevous with a comet

With Prof. Dr. Haerendel, MPE

Model of the harpoon, developped at MPE, for the Philae lander.

On 2 March 2004, the European Space Agency ESA launched the Rosetta mission to the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. On board: the small lander "Philae", which will be released close to the comet to land on its core where it will perform scientific measurements.

This will give the scientists new insights into the formation of our solar system, the Earth, and maybe even the emergence of live. Comets are some of the most interesting celestial bodies in our cosmic neighbourhood, as they carry information from a time 4.5 billion years ago - the infancy of our solar system.

A special harpoon - developed at MPE - will moor the lander and prevent Philae from bouncing off the comet. During the next Café & Kosmos, Prof. Haerendel will discuss not only the unique challenges of such a project but also the fascination of studying coments in our solar system.

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