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ERIC Number: EJ1074868
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
"Rosetta" Mission's "7 Hours of Terror" and "Philae's" Descent
Blanco, Philip
Physics Teacher, v53 n6 p339-340 Sep 2015
In November 2014 the "Rosetta" mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko made the headlines when its "Philae" lander completed a successful unpowered descent onto the surface of the comet nucleus after "7 hours of terror" for the mission scientists. 67P's irregular shape and rotation made this task even more challenging. "Philae" fell almost radially towards 67P, as shown in an animation produced by the European Space Agency (ESA) prior to the event. Below, we investigate whether it is possible to model the spacecraft's descent time and impact speed using concepts taught in an introductory physics course.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A