Nov 17 2014

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I predict Philae is 1535 meters from its initial landing point

give or take a meter or two.

Taking a look at the three pictures below, I believe that the lone Rosetta team member that suspected the lander went off at a Northwest direction, instead of an Easterly direction, was correct.

Here is the landing site and the trajectory of the lander as it approached touchdown, and the trajectory bounced off in, presented side-by-side.

Now, I’ve rotated the lander approach pictures to roughly be in line with the surface features of the landing site. It looks like Philae landed in the lower left quadrant of the landing area circled, and then bounces off over the head of the “duck” toward the neck and body.

Incidentally, here’s the trajectory compared to the predicted location as presented by ESA:

So where does 1535 meters at a 10 o’clock vector from the landing site put Philae, exactly? Well, unfortunately Mr. Internet doesn’t seem to have a very good overall map of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, so I’m forced to use this drawing of the comet scaled to Los Angeles. 1535 meters is a little less than half way across the asteroid, so I suspect it’s right around….here:

Somewhere squarely on the neck of the comet, which likely explains why it only gets about 1.5 hours of sunlight.

Well find out soon if I’m right.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2014/11/17/i-predict-philae-is-1535-meters-from-its-initial-landing-point/

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