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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rosetta Lands !

The Rosetta Lander of the ESA, European Space Agency, has landed successfully upon its comet of choice.

I fills me with memory of the Mediterranean:  Rosetta, now Rashid, on the Nile delta; Philae, an island in the Nile near Aswan; PTOLEMY,
The scientific goal of using Ptolemy is to understand the geochemistry of light elements, such as hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, by determining their nature, distribution and stable isotopic compositions. The picture on the right shows the lander instrument, Ptolemy, which was designed and developed in conjunction with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. The size of a shoebox and weighing just 4.5 kg, Ptolemy will use gas chromatography / mass spectrometry (GCMS) techniques to investigate the comet surface and subsurface;
and OSIRIS, an acronym for Optical, Spectroscopic, and InfraRed Remote Imaging System.

I also saw the film Interstellar today. It was great. One of the best parts was in the beginning where an elementary school teacher complains that Matthew McConaughey's daughter is causing trouble in class by showing pictures of the Apollo missions to the Moon, thus disagreeing with the official curriculum that the Apollo landings were phoney political ploys designed to cause the USSR to overspend on rockets and such.

Wonderfully done.


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