RIP Philae

5 Sep 2016

The exact resting place of the Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has finally been pinpointed, in new photographs by the Rosetta orbiter. Rosetta did a close pass of the comet on September 2nd and the survey caught the first clear glimpse of Philae’s position.

Philae's resting place on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Photograph shows Philae wedged into a deep crack on the comet’s surface.
Main image and lander inset: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA; context: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0


I’m so proud that Restek was able to contribute columns to this astounding mission!

To find out more about the Rosetta mission and Restek’s contribution, read Chris English’s interview with Robert Sternberg, head of the GC space instrumentation group at Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (LISA). There is also an in-depth paper on the COSAC instrument, COSAC, the Cometary Sampling and Composition Experiment on Philae, by Fred Goesmann, Helmut Rosenbauer, and Reinhard Roll of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, if you’re interested in finding out more about the development of the instrument and the columns that accompany it.

Oh, and did you know that Restek has columns on three other space missions?! That's right, four Restek columns can be found on the Curiosity rover (MSL 2011 mission) in its SAM instrument,  three columns are on the ExoMars 2018 mission in its MOMA instrument, and Restek's MXT-1701 column was the first capillary column that ever flew in space, on the Cassini/Huygens mission! And the venerable Pro ezGC application was crucial to the column selection for Curiosity, ExoMars, and Rosetta!