back to article Race is on to touch down on COMET 67P before WHIFFY SPACE DUCK breaks up

Rosetta robot probe, Philae, is set to touch down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Wednesday, 12 November, when the craft's decade-long chase to reach the speeding, icy cosmic rock hits its target – if all goes to plan. But how long can we expect the comet to live? The European Space Agency's project scientist Matt Taylor …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Alien

    It would be embarrassing

    if the next news flash were along the lines of: "Well, we landed on 67P and, er, we broke it..."

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: It would be embarrassing

      Is there a convention for numbering the resulting parts?

      "It appears Philae is dangling from 67P-LXVII"

    2. John Gamble
      Alien

      Re: It would be embarrassing

      "... and, er, we broke it..."

      Wait, no, that would be great! A new game: "Comet Crush".

      Pity the price is a bit extreme.

  2. johnnymotel

    which is roughly 20,000 kilometres in size....

    what exactly does this mean?

    Sounds like a lot of km for something 3.5x4km

  3. Anomalous Cowshed

    It's the most massive comet ever - it's clearly been eating its greens

    But that's nothing mate. The other day I caught this fish, and it was at least half a mile long - honest!

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: It's the most massive comet ever - it's clearly been eating its greens

      "and it was at least half a mile long - honest!"

      LIar! -- it was half a kilometer.

  4. Osgard Leach
    Pint

    Philaen Groovy,

    Really just hours to go now, magnificent.

    I find the idea that we might actually SNAP it like a dry twig is adding another rich level of intrigue to the thing.

    Perhaps we could have another mission to land on the other bit?

    1. Martin Budden Bronze badge
      Coat

      Perhaps we could have another mission to land on the other bit?

      But wouldn't that just snap the other bit? This could go on forever*: for n landings there will always be n+1 bits.

      *although we'll need to get very good at making landers smaller and smaller

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "But wouldn't that just snap the other bit?"

        Sure, but in the absence of a sufficient tidal gradient the bits won't fly apart. They'll just, sorta move around a little...seeking a better equipotiential surface...squashing the lander...

  5. Elmer Phud
    Flame

    Oh NO!

    Meddling so-called 'scientists' playing with our fate.

    They will break it in to bits which will then alter trajectory to point straight to Earth.

    This will result in a GLOBAL CATASTROPHE where most of humanity will perish -exept those who planned it all along who will be safe in their bunkers.

    It is TRUE -the dolphins told me via my guardian angel.

  6. Sweep

    How long is a piece of string? We don't know ...

    Wasn't that the problem with Beagle 2 as well?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm so excited about the landing that I decided to make a sleep aid video out of EM emissions from the comet in tribute to the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA_J_3xyt8g&list=UUF6R1ZDskjCeBMomUGCtxXw

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