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Journal Articles Acta Astronautica Year : 2017

Reconstruction of the flight and attitude of Rosetta's lander Philae


Since Rosetta's lander Philae touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 12, 2014, many tools have been applied to reconstruct Philae's flight path and attitude between separation, the touchdowns, collision and the final landing at Abydos. In addition to images from the cameras onboard both orbiter and lander (;OSIRIS;, ;CIVA; and ;ROLIS;), radio tracking results, solar array and radio data link housekeeping data, one of the major sources for timing and attitude information were two point magnetic field measurements by the magnetometers ;ROMAP; and ;RPC-MAG; aboard Philae and Rosetta. In this study all the different results are combined to determine in further detail what happened to Philae during its travel above the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In addition to a description of the descent dynamics and the attitude during rebound, the approximate coordinates for the collision at 16:20 UTC with the rim of the Hatmehit crater and the second touchdown are estimated. It is also shown, that Philae did not change attitude between the end of the first-science sequence and September 2, 2016.
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insu-03692472 , version 1 (18-08-2023)


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Philip Heinisch, Hans-Ulrich Auster, Dirk Plettemeier, Wlodek Kofman, Alain Herique, et al.. Reconstruction of the flight and attitude of Rosetta's lander Philae. Acta Astronautica, 2017, 140, pp.509-516. ⟨10.1016/j.actaastro.2017.09.017⟩. ⟨insu-03692472⟩
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