Week 46: Hero – The European Space Agency and those involved in the Rosetta Probe

by Ray_North on November 17, 2014

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I went to see Interstellar over the weekend – fabulous film, but I didn’t understand great swathes of it – instead, Mrs North and myself, sort of sat in spellbound wonder at the awesome possibility of the universe, before deciding that the film was probably actually about being a crap parent and an even crapper custodian of our own planet.

Anyway, I digress – last week, the lads down the European Space Agency landed a probe on a comet when the Rosetta Space Craft’s, Philae Lander, successfully touched down on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

Bloody hell, that’s impressive.

I mean, just finding a comet is pretty special, but then, to track it for years (the probe was launched in 2004), pinpoint a place to land and then actually engineer a successful landing is truly amazing. Those involved, have been involved for many years (it had its genesis in a combined NASA Arian mission back in 1993), and for many it is the fulfillment of a lifetimes work, a lifetime of muddling over equations and formulae and complicated potential feats of engineering. It reminded us on these pages, that there are people on this planet who are still interested in using their prodigious brains, not just to make money, but to explore and investigate and to stretch the boundaries of mankind’s understanding and knowledge. They have now retrieved masses of data, some of it, probably useless, but much of it, hopefully will be worthwhile, including the possibility of finding microbes which are the precursor for life – wow. All in all, their dedication and brilliance may allow us to continue to explore the areas previously untouched and unknown – and for that, we salute them with this rather modest award.

Well done lads.

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