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Comet Siding Spring Mars encounter: One Mars Express plan becomes two

ESA Mars Express Team • September 17, 2014 • 2

The Mars Express Flight Control Team at ESOC have been actively preparing for the flyby of comet C/2013 A1/Siding Spring on October 19. Initial estimates gave the possibility that Mars Express might be hit by 2 or 3 high-speed particles. Happily, additional observations by ground and space telescopes have shown the risk to be much lower – and perhaps even as low as zero. In today's blog post, the team explain how this (happy!) real-life, real-time development is affecting their preparations for fly-by.

A landing site for Philae, but it's not going to be easy

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2014 • 7

This morning, the European Space Agency announced the selection of a landing site for little Philae on the head of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Although a primary site has been selected, landing Philae successfully is going to be tough, and the mission is now working to manage people's expectations.

New Rosetta views and first science on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko from EPSC

Emily Lakdawalla • September 11, 2014 • 3

At the European Planetary Science Congress held this week in Portugal, the Rosetta team showcased some early science results from Rosetta's mission to comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

So Close and Yet So Far: Why isn't Siding Spring going to sandblast Mars?

Tony Farnham • September 09, 2014 • 5

Comet Siding Spring is going to make a very close approach to Mars in October. Any comet dust that reaches Mars has the potential to inflict significant damage on the spacecraft orbiting the planet. As it turns out, however, Mars and its orbiters are likely to see very few, if any, impacts. Why?

Latest Rosetta NavCam images reveal jets on Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Emily Lakdawalla • September 04, 2014 • 5

ESA released another set of NavCam images of the comet today, and lo and behold, there are jets! We knew they were there, from an earlier OSIRIS image, but it's tremendously cool to see the comet behaving like a proper comet should.

ESA invites amateurs to produce portraits of comet 67P

Emily Lakdawalla • September 01, 2014

After a pause of about a week in daily image releases from Rosetta, ESA has begun sharing four-image sets of photos of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko and invited the public to help produce pretty pictures from them.

The Pivotal Discovery You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Karl Battams • August 29, 2014 • 5

Karl Battams highlights the historic discovery, by an Air Force satellite, of a sungrazing comet.

Rosetta identifies five possible landing sites for Philae

Emily Lakdawalla • August 26, 2014 • 8

The Rosetta team has announced the selection of five regions on Churyumov-Gerasimenko that they will study as possible landing sites for little Philae. Now, as Rosetta surveys the comet from its second triangular "orbit" at an average distance of 60 kilometers, the mission will target these spots for extra attention.

Philae landing site selection process under way as Rosetta closes to within 60 kilometers of the comet

Emily Lakdawalla • August 22, 2014 • 9

Rosetta spent the week transitioning to a lower orbit from which it continues to observe the comet. This weekend, the mission will select about five landing sites for more detailed study. They have also now estimated the mass of the comet.

Comet Flyby Missions for Mars Rovers

Mark Lemmon • August 21, 2014 • 2

On October 19, the Mars rovers — like their orbiting cousins — will become comet flyby missions. Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass within 140,000 km of Mars.

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