So I decided I would wake this blog from its year-long hibernation since I’ve gotten several requests to post something new. It all started when I started posting essays from my literature class just for the heck of it. I just wanted to start a blog. But being the depressive person that I am, I lost interest (or, shall we say, the necessary inspiration?) to make another blog post. I didn’t want to post yet another one of my essays (although I may do so in the future) so I sort of ran out of ideas. I went into “everything sucks” mode.
Well, the other day I got myself a copy of the new Times magazine. As I flipped through back-to-back articles about the Democrats’ embarrassing defeats in the midterm elections I came across an article about space travel. Yep, this oughta do it.
Ok, so the European Space Agency built this robotic, unmanned space probe dubbed Rosetta. The name is of Egyptian origin. This probe will orbit a comet called 67P (Churyumov Gerasimenko) currently floating in the Kuiper Belt and making its way to the inner Solar System. As I write this, Rosetta has already reached its destination and deployed a lander which will attach itself to the comet for a look-see. But let me give you some background on this Rosetta.
The ESA spent $1.8 billon (appx.1.3 billion Euros) to build this thing, which (according to my calculations) is about 33% of the agency’s annual budget. Don’t worry though, they are based in France, and as we all know France has crazy high taxes which can more than well pay for it.
It’s crazy to think that this probe was launched ten years ago. This fucking thing has been journeying about in space for over a decade only to intersect with a tiny little comet which may or may not give us the answers we need about the origin of life on Earth.
And the fact that nothing bad happened to Rosetta during its trek to the cosmos is nothing short of a miracle. A few days ago, dumbfuck Richard Bronson’s SpaceShipTwo spaceplane crashed miserably in the Mojave Desert killing one pilot and injuring another. Look up Richard Bronson, I bet you’ve seen this guy a million times on TV. Space travel is no joke.
“This was the first flight ever to use a new type of fuel: nylon plastic grains”. (The Bakersfield Californian)
Da fuck is that? It sounds cool though.
Rosetta is lucky that during its rocket propelled ascension it didn’t prematurely deploy its feathering system which is used to help planes get back to Earth in one piece.
I gotta give it to Rosetta. This little bitch is the queen of first place ribbon victories like that one kid who wins all the races on field day back in primary school. It’s also the first spacecraft to fly close to Jupiter using only solar cells as its main power source. First to orbit a comet’s nucleus, and first to study up close how a frozen comet is transformed by the Sun’s heat.
This is where it gets interesting.
When Rosetta arrived on her date with 67P it just kind of danced around aimlessly for like 3 months. This I guess was her mating call. Well, to be fair, it was mapping out a path to the comet’s nucleus.
On November 12, Rose gave birth to her son Philae. Rosetta opened her womb and ejected her demonic offspring. Meet Philae. Philae is a research probe, or a lander, responsible for collecting data from the comet. The ESA jumped up and down when it was announced that the lander’s 7 hour descent to 67P was a great success! Great Success!
Emily Barone of Time Magazine writes:
“The lander could offer clues to the origins of the solar system”.
Yes, I’m intrigued. Continue.
“Once on the surface, this lander will take measurements that could reveal the conditions that prevailed in the universe not long after the Big Bang”
Man, this is great. This thing could literally end the age old Big Bang v Creationism debate. Maybe this fucking probe will have the ability to shut Christians up once and for all (gasp!).
It is theorized that things like water, ice and organic chemicals were brought to our planet by comets. God didn’t just fart them out one day.
Philae will be relaying a bunch of cosmic data to us Earthlings for over a year before it makes its 10 year roadtrip back to Earth.
I think much of the data will be monitored by Germany’s ESOC post. They’re in charge of telemetry. Let’s hope they don’t use any of the information to build the next breakthrough in Nazi-inspired flight technology. Allegedly, after WW2, Nazi scientists worked on UFO airplane technology they had extracted from data obtained using secret satellites hidden in Antarctica.
According to Rosetta’s project manager, most of what Philae will find while he sniffs his way around the comet are prebiotic molecules. These are molecules known to be the precursors of life, but not living organisms.
I wish Rosetta and her curious son the best of luck. I hope nothing happens to them. I hope the comet’s atmosphere treats them with mercy. I’m really looking forward to reading about the kinds of discoveries this mission will uncover.
Am I a space geek?