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Philae has been found – here’s why it’s important

Rosetta’s mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimanko is coming to an end – plans are already in place for a grand finale on September 30, when the orbiter will land gracefully (erm, crash) on the surface of the target it has been following so closely for more than two years. In preparation for the landing, Rosetta has been approaching ever closer to the surface. High resolution images of the surface have been returned, showing in great detail the stark and pitted landscape, ragged cliffs and boulder-strewn plains.

Wed, 2016-09-07 11:58

Farewell to Philae?

How do you say goodbye to a valued colleague with whom you have worked closely for almost two decades? Maybe there is a farewell party, a collection for a gift, a bunch of flowers? If the colleague is moving to an exciting new post, the affair is usually joyful, possibly tinged with envy as well as regret. The same is true if the colleague is retiring – depending how close you are to retirement yourself. But what are those who worked on developing the comet lander Philae supposed to feel now their colleague faces “eternal hibernation” after a decision was made to give up trying to contact it?

Mon, 2016-02-15 14:36

Rosetta scientists unveil the source of ice and dust jets on comet 67P

After a decade-long journey through space, the Rosetta spacecraft has spent the past year less than 100km from the nucleus of comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, capturing some stunningly detailed images. But despite this wealth of visual evidence for researchers there is a lot we still don’t know about the comet – including why it is covered in organic material rather than just ice and what causes its powerful jets of dust and ice.

Fri, 2015-09-25 12:01

The Open University joins forces with BAE Systems to harness Rosetta know-how for UK’s newest submarines

Scientists from the Space Instrumentation Group (SIG) at The Open University and BAE Systems have worked together with members of the MoD’s Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) to develop a step-change in a vital piece of safety equipment on board future Royal Navy submarines.

Tue, 2014-12-02 16:52

Happy Encounters - 4th Time Lucky

by John Zarnecki, The Open University

March 1986, July 1992, January 2005, November 2014 – different dates, but the same place. ESOC to the cognoscenti – otherwise the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt Germany, or Europe’s “mission control”.  It is from here that Europe’s scientific space missions are controlled and the place to which I have been drawn by 4 incredible adventures which have shaped my professional career.

Wed, 2014-11-12 11:24

Why Rosetta is the greatest space mission of our lifetime

By Natalie Starkey, The Open University

Wed, 2014-11-05 16:11

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