It’s taken ten years to get there, but early Wednesday, November 12 Central European time (from about 1 AM to 8 AM, which is about 5 PM to midnight Pacific time), the European Space Agency will land a craft on a comet. Their Rosetta spacecraft got to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko three months ago, and has been in a weird jagged “orbit” around it ever since. Now its attached lander, Philae, is being prepped to detach from it.
All the pre-flight stuff is going to happen when I’m busy at a conference next week, and the actual flight and grand finale landing, if it is successful, will happen in the middle of the night. Good luck to the ESA. #cometlanding
Two videos related to this. The first is more cutesy space stuff, but it’s also part of a rather brilliantly accessible series of cartoons promoting and explaining their mission.
The other video is a short art film the ESA collaborated on that I believe is a promo for a longer, upcoming science fantasy film, “Ambition” about the life-creating chemicals and water of comets: