Sitting on the plane back to Manchester is a good time to get started on drafting this post, after a fantastic SpaceUp unconference over the weekend at the European Space Agency’s European Astronaut Centre in Cologne.
Yesterday I discovered this must-watch video. A futuristic short-film, beautifully crafted, based on digitised real images of real Solar System locations and narrated by Carl Sagan’s hypnotic voice. The end result? a beautiful, inspiring video.
Here’s what you need to take home from today’s media briefing by ESA on the Rosetta mission, following yesterday’s landing on the comet.
This is the world’s first ever image from the surface of a comet, taken a few hours ago 500 million kilometres away from Earth on a small rock just 4km across by a little robotic probe and transmitted back to us. The radio signal took a full 28min to travel through space to reach Earth. The probe is called Philae, dropped from the Rosetta spacecraft yesterday after a 10-year journey through space. The mission is managed by the European Space Agency.
Right now, yes, right now today Wednesday, a little probe we built called Philae, the size of a dishwasher and weighing just 100kg, is slowly “falling” towards a little comet just 4km across at a leisurely speed of 3.5km/h, far far away from Earth.
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. — Carl Sagan