Landing it Like Philae


Landing it Like Philae

“Has great things ever been done, smoothly?” -Swami Vivekananda

Twitter didn’t exist and facebook has just born when she was  launched  ….

She went into the unknown. An unknown surface, gravity gradients and what not…

We sure knew its path, precise moments of when it would go closer to Earth…. When it is slow enough for a fuel optimum capture….

Not sure how many years it took to realize this washing machine sized contraption and its carrier, but the idea to explore is not a new one. Mankind is now all over the third rock and soon would be settling on the eighth continent and the Red sibling, thanks to the explorer in each one of us.

Driven by curiosity, strengthened by failures, we are growing stronger day by day to pioneer the unknown.

Look at Philae, this little chappie had embarked on the voyage of the unknown without even knowing if he is going to land on a soft ground. One didn’t know if he would even land or just fly through the Asteroid CG.

Armed with a Landing gear of harpoons, a pivoted upper body to help adjust attitude post landing, cameras and solar panels giving 360 and 270 degrees coverage, instruments to do some science. Whoa she was loaded in her days.

Talking about trajectory, the number of Earth passes and using the Earth and Mars and all the heavenly bodies’ gravity to carefully tune the path towards successful capture has now become a routine for all the planetary explorers.

Really proud to be living in the time of firsts and carefully learning how to make our own pages.

It did not land in the first attempt, you say? We landed thrice… not once but thrice. Low power hiccup?  Problem identified and solution being worked out for the next mission.

Our hearty congratulations to the entire crew of Rosetta-philae for such a wonderful effort.

Nirmal Suraj

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