Page 26 of 29

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 2:43 am UTC
by Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish
Snagglepuss wrote:May I just say: Damn you, Randall, for making me (and probably most of us) believe that Rovers and Landers have human feelings and emotions. I'm so sad that poor little Philae is lying on it's side, doing its job as good as it could.


When I found out that she might not make it, I started to cry. Hours later, I'm still crying.
That's the downside to anthropomorphism. Makes things so damn cute, but it's heartbreaking if they "die."
Especially since he portrays them all to be optimistic, happy, and cheerful.
Like Wall-E.

This reminds me of the ending scene to Wall-E, except we're not guaranteed the happy Pixar ending.

Oh, poor Philae... :c
I remember crying reading the Spirit post.
But this is going to hurt for ages.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 2:51 am UTC
by Klear
Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish wrote:This reminds me of the ending scene to Wall-E, except we're not guaranteed the happy Pixar ending.


The worst thing is that we are guaranteed a bad ending. At best bittersweet. This is why I hated to study history - I knew that every historical figure I've grown attached to will eventually die and every empire will fall.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:00 am UTC
by Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish
Klear wrote:The worst thing is that we are guaranteed a bad ending. At best bittersweet. This is why I hated to study history - I knew that every historical figure I've grown attached to will eventually die and every empire will fall.


I guess, in a way. And as long as Philae remains anchored, once she gets a bit closer to the sun, she can resume her mission. She's... in a coma. She's in a coma on a comet. And as she gets closer to the sun, she'll be coming in a coma on a comet in the coma of the comet. I've never been this agitated about something like this... but I guess it's the anthropomorphism that really bugs me, giving her a personality and all...

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:44 am UTC
by BlitzGirl
Aw, poor Philae. Image
Nice drawing, Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:49 am UTC
by azule
Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish wrote:I drew a little picture xkcd style a bit earlier today... because poor Philae...
Spoiler:
Image
That's depressingly awesome. (or is it "awesomely depressing"?) *approves*







*tear*

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:52 am UTC
by BlitzGirl
azule wrote:That's depressingly awesome. (or is it "awesomely depressing"?)

Awefulsome.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:53 am UTC
by Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish
BlitzGirl wrote:Aw, poor Philae. Image
Nice drawing, Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish.


Thankies :v

Yeah... I've been really depressed and so worried about her. It's been eating at my heart all day today...
I don't believe in faith, but I do hope with all my might that the odds are in her favor...

azule wrote:That's depressingly awesome. (or is it "awesomely depressing"?) *approves*


"Earth? Please forgive me. I tried my best. I'm sorry. I hope that I was of use in this short time I was alive... I'm growing weak, Earth. My voice grows faint... please... forgive me..."

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:16 am UTC
by HAL9000
I feel this is of at least moderate relevance (warning: Kardashians lie within):
Spoiler:
Image

Also of note is the fact that the Rosetta landing got more twitter traffic than did kim kardashian's Paper magazine photo shoot, thus nullifying her attempt to "break the internet".

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:03 am UTC
by Quercus
Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish wrote:
azule wrote:That's depressingly awesome. (or is it "awesomely depressing"?) *approves*


"Earth? Please forgive me. I tried my best. I'm sorry. I hope that I was of use in this short time I was alive... I'm growing weak, Earth. My voice grows faint... please... forgive me..."


There's nothing to forgive - you sent us all the data you had from the first science sequence. That's at least 80% of the success critera for the mission - we could not have asked for more.

I'm reminded of Pheidippides, the herald who in legend ran from Marathon to Sparta to request help when the Persians attacked, and then to Athens to announce the Greek victory, which he achieved with his dying breath. Not least because the time Pheidippedes spent running and the time Philae was active were almost identical.

So, when Persia was dust, all cried, "To Acropolis!
Run, Pheidippides, one race more! the meed is thy due!
Athens is saved, thank Pan, go shout!" He flung down his shield
Ran like fire once more: and the space 'twixt the fennel-field
And Athens was stubble again, a field which a fire runs through,
Till in he broke: "Rejoice, we conquer!" Like wine through clay,
Joy in his blood bursting his heart, - the bliss!

Robert Browning, Pheidippides

Now you've got me all sentimental about a lander too!

HAL9000 wrote: Also of note is the fact that the Rosetta landing got more twitter traffic than did kim kardashian's Paper magazine photo shoot, thus nullifying her attempt to "break the internet".


This makes me very happy.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:07 pm UTC
by Seti
Hello everybody!
On wednesday I stumbled upon this thread when I was asking myself why the xkcd page only showed a blank screen (somehow the automatic update didn't work on my browser). When I found out that it was a comic about the Rosetta mission, which had almost slipped my mind, I was instantly fascinated, reading Randalls great comic (thanks for that!), refreshing this thread every other minute to see the new contributions, watching the ESA livestream. Really an awesome experience for someone who wasn't born when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Lately I noticed that some people are a bit sad because Philae has gone to sleep. So I thought to myself that I could write a little scene between Philae and Rosetta, some piece of dialogue which is hopefully a bit more uplifting. Since I'm not a native speaker I'm afraid there could be some mistakes in it. Still, I hope you find it readable and, more importantly, enjoyable.


PHILAE: [Yawns.] "Rosie, I'm getting sleepy. I think I have to close my shutters for now."
ROSETTA: [Swallows.] "Okay."
PHILAE: "We had one space of a time together, didn't we?"
ROSETTA: "Yeah." [Pauses, then sniffs.] "I will miss your company."
PHILAE: "Hey, don't be sad. I'm not gone forever. I just take two months off."
ROSETTA: "I know. But it feels so strange to pursue our mission without you. Almost pointless."
PHILAE: "Nah, just keep up your good work. Think about what we've accomplished, and what you can still accomplish. We were the first spacecrafts to land on a comet. That's pretty cool. We are pioneers, like our distant NASA cousins, and we make humanity proud. Isn't that something. And besides, if you ever feel lonely, just remember the fun times we had together, remember what we've seen on our trip. Like this one time, when we flew by that asteroid Lutetia."
ROSETTA: "Yeah, I remember that chunk. Nearly scared the screws out of me. We really did see some things, didn't we?"
PHILAE: [Disguises his voice.] "We've seen things those humans wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. We watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate."
ROSETTA: [Chuckles.] "Now, you're totally making that up."
PHILAE: "Probably. But what's more important: All our moments won't be lost in time because we conserved them. Like tears on a microscope slide. Time to…"
[Dramatic pause, while ROSETTA gasps for space.]
PHILAE: "… take a nap. 'Cause, you know, after all, we're robots so we can't die."
ROSETTA: [Sighs with relief.] "Right, we are inanimate objects. Forgot about that."
PHILAE: "I know. Sometimes I tend to forget it, too. Anyway, do you think they will make a movie out of this?"
ROSETTA: "Pretty sure. They make movies out of everything. Remember when I told you that they are going to make a 'Tetris' movie."
PHILAE: "Yeah, I laughed so hard that I almost detached myself."
[Both scream with laughter.]
ROSETTA: "I wouldn't be suprised if there's already a script in the making."
PHILAE: "Oh, that would be cool. Maybe an upcoming Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster titled 'Moby Rock' or something like that. You know, I always pictured myself as…" [Harrumphs, then procedes in an epic narrative voice.] "A fearless space captain, jumping down on a rocky beast we've been hunting for years, with harpoons drawn, trying to pierce its crusty skin, my metal leg dangling in space as my nemesis tried to shake me off."
ROSETTA: "Wow. For a sterilized lander you do have a fertile imagination."
PHILAE: "Yeah. Tell me, is the actor who played Captain Ahab still alive? Maybe he could play me."
ROSETTA: "You mean Gregory Peck? No, he passed away in 2003, a few months prior to our start."
PHILAE: "Dang, that's sad… Well, then they will need to find somebody else. Maybe someone who is even better suited. An actor whose facial expressions are immobile enough to embody a space robot. Maybe …" [Yawns again.] "Well, whatever, now I'm really tired. Nighty-night, Rosie. See you in two months."
ROSETTA: [Sighs.] "Nighty-night, Phil."
[PHILAE falls asleep and starts to snore quietly.]
ROSETTA: [Wipes a frozen little tear away from her solar panel, puts it on a microscope slide and whispers.] "Sleep well and dream of the stars, my little friend."

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:25 pm UTC
by BlitzGirl
I don't know if this has been noted yet, but above the comic it now reads:

A big thank-you to Emily Lakdawalla for help and advice on this comic.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:21 am UTC
by Eternal Density
Spacewhales! I just (well it's been a few hours) saw Phil Plait (aka Bad Astronomer, and who may be known to some xkcd readers due to this and who tweeted about Landing) give a live (via Skype and Twitch) interview type thing on Desert Bus for Hope 8, and he talked a bit about Rosetta/Philae as well as other space stuff.
Here he is waving a bit of a meteorite:
Spoiler:
Image

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:18 am UTC
by serutan
What I'm wondering is : In present conditions, can it recharge over several days (assuming the 1.5 hours can
do some recharging when it is in sleep mode), and do stuff in short bursts until better lighting conditions obtain?
Neither BBC nor ESA answer this directly.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:15 am UTC
by BlitzGirl
Lovely little scene, Seti!

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:48 am UTC
by Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish
Seti wrote:I'm afraid there could be some mistakes in it. Still, I hope you find it readable and, more importantly, enjoyable.
Spoiler:
PHILAE: [Yawns.] "Rosie, I'm getting sleepy. I think I have to close my shutters for now."
ROSETTA: [Swallows.] "Okay."
PHILAE: "We had one space of a time together, didn't we?"
ROSETTA: "Yeah." [Pauses, then sniffs.] "I will miss your company."
PHILAE: "Hey, don't be sad. I'm not gone forever. I just take two months off."
ROSETTA: "I know. But it feels so strange to pursue our mission without you. Almost pointless."
PHILAE: "Nah, just keep up your good work. Think about what we've accomplished, and what you can still accomplish. We were the first spacecrafts to land on a comet. That's pretty cool. We are pioneers, like our distant NASA cousins, and we make humanity proud. Isn't that something. And besides, if you ever feel lonely, just remember the fun times we had together, remember what we've seen on our trip. Like this one time, when we flew by that asteroid Lutetia."
ROSETTA: "Yeah, I remember that chunk. Nearly scared the screws out of me. We really did see some things, didn't we?"
PHILAE: [Disguises his voice.] "We've seen things those humans wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. We watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate."
ROSETTA: [Chuckles.] "Now, you're totally making that up."
PHILAE: "Probably. But what's more important: All our moments won't be lost in time because we conserved them. Like tears on a microscope slide. Time to…"
[Dramatic pause, while ROSETTA gasps for space.]
PHILAE: "… take a nap. 'Cause, you know, after all, we're robots so we can't die."
ROSETTA: [Sighs with relief.] "Right, we are inanimate objects. Forgot about that."
PHILAE: "I know. Sometimes I tend to forget it, too. Anyway, do you think they will make a movie out of this?"
ROSETTA: "Pretty sure. They make movies out of everything. Remember when I told you that they are going to make a 'Tetris' movie."
PHILAE: "Yeah, I laughed so hard that I almost detached myself."
[Both scream with laughter.]
ROSETTA: "I wouldn't be suprised if there's already a script in the making."
PHILAE: "Oh, that would be cool. Maybe an upcoming Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster titled 'Moby Rock' or something like that. You know, I always pictured myself as…" [Harrumphs, then procedes in an epic narrative voice.] "A fearless space captain, jumping down on a rocky beast we've been hunting for years, with harpoons drawn, trying to pierce its crusty skin, my metal leg dangling in space as my nemesis tried to shake me off."
ROSETTA: "Wow. For a sterilized lander you do have a fertile imagination."
PHILAE: "Yeah. Tell me, is the actor who played Captain Ahab still alive? Maybe he could play me."
ROSETTA: "You mean Gregory Peck? No, he passed away in 2003, a few months prior to our start."
PHILAE: "Dang, that's sad… Well, then they will need to find somebody else. Maybe someone who is even better suited. An actor whose facial expressions are immobile enough to embody a space robot. Maybe …" [Yawns again.] "Well, whatever, now I'm really tired. Nighty-night, Rosie. See you in two months."
ROSETTA: [Sighs.] "Nighty-night, Phil."
[PHILAE falls asleep and starts to snore quietly.]
ROSETTA: [Wipes a frozen little tear away from her solar panel, puts it on a microscope slide and whispers.] "Sleep well and dream of the stars, my little friend."


You did PERFECTLY.

D'AWWWWWWWWWWWW x3

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:00 am UTC
by Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish
I drew this yesterday before I found out about how much data Philae transmitted, but it still fits the personification of Philae.

It's based off of the children's book, "Goodnight Moon." Prepare your feels.

It's best if you read the text in the image first if you can, but because the image is big, or you can't read my writing, this is the text:

Spoiler:
Goodnight, space.
Goodnight, stars.
Goodnight planets
that orbit our star.

Goodnight ice.
Goodnight moons.
Goodnight ground
that I didn't harpoon.

Goodnight comet.
Goodnight Sun.
Goodnight battery.
This trip has been fun.

Goodbye Earth.
Goodbye ESA.
I'm sorry I failed
both you and Rosetta.


I'm not sure why the bottom most part got cropped off, but whatever.
Philae has now entered a deep sleep.
I really, really, really, really hope she gets enough sunlight to wake up soon...
I guess she's not really *dead* in a way... more like... in a coma.
A coma on a comet. Hopefully she won't be in a coma on a comet in the coma of the comet... because then she really will die...

Wake up Philae, wake up and do science... may the Sun shine down on your solar panels and charge you up to do science...
Especially since more than any probe in history, you've gained a great sentimental attachment too, thanks to Randall and other personifications...
*sigh*
It's seriously depressed me for a while...

Spoiler:
Image


Rosetta: "Sleep well, Philae. You have not failed me, or the ESA, or Earth. Perhaps you couldn't live up to all that you could have been, but you've still done more than we all could have ever asked for from you, little Philae. Sleep well. You deserve a rest."

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:00 am UTC
by HAL9000
Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish: you have some overlapping tags (e.g. [XXX][YYY][/XXX][/YYY]) in your second-most-recent post. That tends to mustard up the rest of the page's posts, you may want to fix it.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:34 pm UTC
by arcanmster
serutan wrote:What I'm wondering is : In present conditions, can it recharge over several days (assuming the 1.5 hours can
do some recharging when it is in sleep mode), and do stuff in short bursts until better lighting conditions obtain?
Neither BBC nor ESA answer this directly.


In fact this question has been addressed in one of the live events (I think during the Google hangout). IIRC, in order to be able to recharge the battery, they first have to heat it to 0°C (and of course have some excess power after that). The current amount of sunlight is not sufficient to do that. :-/

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:27 pm UTC
by serutan
arcanmster wrote:
serutan wrote:What I'm wondering is : In present conditions, can it recharge over several days (assuming the 1.5 hours can
do some recharging when it is in sleep mode), and do stuff in short bursts until better lighting conditions obtain?
Neither BBC nor ESA answer this directly.


In fact this question has been addressed in one of the live events (I think during the Google hangout). IIRC, in order to be able to recharge the battery, they first have to heat it to 0°C (and of course have some excess power after that). The current amount of sunlight is not sufficient to do that. :-/


Thanks. That makes sense.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:45 pm UTC
by Seti
BlitzGirl: Thank you!

Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish: Thank you, too! I'm glad that I didn't make too many mistakes. I find it quite difficult to write in English because it's very hard, if not impossible, to learn that certain feeling for a foreign language that prevents you from constantly scratching your head and asking yourself if your sentences make any sense. (Did this make any sense? :wink: ) Anyway, I liked your drawings and your poem! But I think Philae doesn't need to blame himself (or herself - who knows?) because he did every task he was appointed to, and everything else would have been just an encore or a bonus. So he did what he had to do and then decided to call it a day right on time. :D

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:19 pm UTC
by azule
Nice story, Seti. It still ended a bit sad, though. :P

Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish - The most depressing part of yours was probably when it got dark and cold. The insanity of space that occurs by just being behind a large rock and then freezing (not) to death (because it's a robot...).

BlitzGirl wrote:
azule wrote:That's depressingly awesome. (or is it "awesomely depressing"?)

Awefulsome.
You're right. With the strikeout (which I never use) included, that works. Thanks!

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:50 pm UTC
by HAL9000
Seti wrote:himself (or herself - who knows?)

I like to stick with the ESA's description of Rosetta and Philae as sister and brother, respectively.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:20 am UTC
by Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish
Philae seems so much more like a girl xD I've been calling him a her all this time...
But yeah... he's left in the cold now...

(and don't worry, your sentence made perfect sense, hehe)

I don't care that he's a robot. I'd do anything to go up there (up? down? ambiguous directions don't really work in space) and move him into a proper location...
I hate all the comments on other forums saying how he's a waste of money :s I want to punch them in the face... they don't understand science...

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:08 am UTC
by HAL9000
Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish wrote:I hate all the comments on other forums saying how he's a waste of money :s I want to punch them in the face... they don't understand science...

Indeed. To say that the first attempt at a scientific objective was a waste of resources because it wasn't as successful as it could have been is to ignore the fact that science is the art of turning repetition into progress.

ETA: mostly off-topic, but the URL for my post says it's #3689999. Another victory for repetition!

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:27 am UTC
by Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish
HAL9000 wrote:
Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish wrote:I hate all the comments on other forums saying how he's a waste of money :s I want to punch them in the face... they don't understand science...

Indeed. To say that the first attempt at a scientific objective was a waste of resources because it wasn't as successful as it could have been is to ignore the fact that science is the art of turning repetition into progress.

ETA: mostly off-topic, but the URL for my post says it's #3689999. Another victory for repetition!


Yup.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:53 am UTC
by Flado
BlitzGirl wrote:I don't know if this has been noted yet
<snip>

It has:
Flado wrote:
eidako wrote:Edit: and now she's linking back here.

And now he's linking back there:
http://xkcd.com/1446/


Hi, BlitzGirl! (wave)

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:21 pm UTC
by Quercus
Girl-With-A-Math-Fetish wrote:Philae seems so much more like a girl xD I've been calling him a her all this time...

Me too - I still have a touch of the old superstition that all ships are female, so I just defaulted to that.

I don't care that he's a robot. I'd do anything to go up there (up? down? ambiguous directions don't really work in space) and move him into a proper location...

Awww.
For direction how about "out there" - out normally works pretty well with space (at least when you are on a planet)

I hate all the comments on other forums saying how he's a waste of money :s I want to punch them in the face... they don't understand science...

I generally solve this one by avoiding non-xkcd forums as much as possible :)

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:02 pm UTC
by sdnelso2
It was a good run, Philae. You will always be remembered. We are all looking forward to your 2015 return!

On more of a Terran note, awesome work with the drawings and poetry here! It's just the right combination of sad and awwww.

Do we have a consensus on whether Philae will be referred to as "she" or "he"? Is it important enough to draw a consensus on?

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:06 pm UTC
by CasCat
quiet philae.png


So, has anyone noticed that Philae is quiet now? (Perhaps he's asleep. Resting up for when he's close to the sun and gets power (we hope) again...)

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:07 pm UTC
by sdnelso2
In other news, they've finally pinpointed exactly where Philae impacted and bounced off the comet, with pictures. Philae is the white pixel, its shadow is the black pixel, and the smudge is the impact point. With the pixel hunting that must have been involved, I'm a little surprised nobody from the OTT ended up finding it first!

http://thespacereporter.com/2014/11/stu ... s-surface/

*edit: 42nd post! Yeah!

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:24 pm UTC
by speising
why didn't they put an RTG into the lander? that would have provided energy for years.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:50 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
speising wrote:why didn't they put an RTG into the lander? that would have provided energy for years.


Same reason they didn't put all sorts of other components in, and why Rosetta took 10 years and a couple of Earth flybys to get to the point of dropping Philae off - we don't have efficient lifting capability, so every gram of payload requires a ridiculous amount of fuel, most of which is burnt just lifting more fuel to lift yet more fuel .

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:02 pm UTC
by sdnelso2
CasCat wrote: So, has anyone noticed that Philae is quiet now? (Perhaps he's asleep. Resting up for when he's close to the sun and gets power (we hope) again...)

I guess I wouldn't have noticed. So it looks like "I landed! I'm on a comet. I'm OK and I'm on a comet." are the canonized last words?

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:06 pm UTC
by Quercus
speising wrote:why didn't they put an RTG into the lander? that would have provided energy for years.


I was also wondering this. Some possibilites:

  • Power/mass ratios - RTG's have terrible power/mass ratios compared to most batteries or photovoltaics - it may be that they couldn't meet the power requirements while staying in the mass budget using an RTG
  • Interference - most RTGs use 238Pu, which is almost exclusively an alpha emitter, however, I don't know if there is an emitter of more penetrating radiation further along the decay chain, if there is it may be that an RTG would cause unacceptable interference with one or more of the instruments on Rosetta or Philae.
  • Supply and sourcing issues - AFAIK no country in the EU has ever produced RTG-grade 238Pu and it is both expensive and time-consuming to begin to do so. The US has purchased all it needs from Russia since 1993, but that required a direct government-to-government agreement, which no country in the EU has. It's possible that neither the US nor Russia was willing/legally able to supply ESA with an RTG or RTG grade plutonium

Interesting FAQ about RTGs here.

P.S. I've just remembered covering the Rosetta launch in a physics lesson when I was 15 - I bet if I went back through my school folders I could find the handout we were given about it :D

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:09 pm UTC
by sdnelso2
rmsgrey wrote:
speising wrote:why didn't they put an RTG into the lander? that would have provided energy for years.


Same reason they didn't put all sorts of other components in, and why Rosetta took 10 years and a couple of Earth flybys to get to the point of dropping Philae off - we don't have efficient lifting capability, so every gram of payload requires a ridiculous amount of fuel, most of which is burnt just lifting more fuel to lift yet more fuel .

The rocket equation makes for some really interesting reading. Also see https://what-if.xkcd.com/24/ for a similar discussion regarding model rockets: due to the requirements, the amount of fuel (and corresponding number of Estes rocket engines) quickly multiples to the small mountain of rocket engines depicted.

Fortunately, the rocket equation is a decreasing function. Adding weight requires more fuel, which requires a smaller amount of fuel, which.... but it works out to a tangible amount before too long.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:17 pm UTC
by Klear
Hehe... scientists are still [wine].

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:13 pm UTC
by Earthling on Mars
CasCat wrote:So, has anyone noticed that Philae is quiet now? (Perhaps he's asleep. Resting up for when he's close to the sun and gets power (we hope) again...)

URL of that picture for posterity, since http://xkcd1446.org has stopped updating... the maker of that site seems to have assumed it's over.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:28 pm UTC
by geekguyandy
speising wrote:why didn't they put an RTG into the lander? that would have provided energy for years.


They addressed this in one of the press briefings. They said it was a political hurdle they could not cross.

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:29 pm UTC
by Whizbang
Take away:

Space is easier than politics

Re: 1446: "Landing"

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:36 pm UTC
by speising
here's an image of Philae's bouncing over the surface:
http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/11/17 ... the-comet/

seems it really picked the best spot it could find for its resting place :(