Fred Jansen: How to land on a comet
Fred Jansen - Space explorer
As manager of the Rosetta mission, Fred Jansen is in charge of the project that could be instrumental in uncovering clues to the origins of life on Earth. Full bio
of the Rosetta spacecraft.
for the past two years.
about the origin of the solar system.
four and a half billion years,
our sun formed and ignited.
as planets, comets and asteroids formed.
a bit after its formation,
and delivered water to Earth.
complex organic material to Earth,
the emergence of life.
to solve a 250-piece puzzle
like Jupiter and Saturn,
where they are now,
of the solar system clean,
called the Kuiper Belt,
beyond the orbit of Neptune.
run into each other,
pulls them back into the solar system.
as we see them in the sky.
is that in the meantime,
on the outside of the solar system,
which is blown away by the solar wind.
which is charged particles,
in the solar system.
which here is too small to see,
that in the case of Rosetta,
away from the comet.
from which our solar system was formed,
when Earth, and life, started.
which may have bootstrapped life.
its long-term Horizon 2000 program,
which would be a mission to a comet.
what you see here, Giotto, was launched,
with an armada of other spacecraft.
it became immediately clear
to understand our solar system.
was approved in 1993,
to be launched in 2003,
with an Ariane rocket.
in its enthusiasm,
1,000 Delft Blue plates
That's the positive part.
be able to get to it,
in the solar system too long.
in the solar system since 1959.
when it was deflected by Jupiter,
to the sun to start changing.
its whole tour through the solar system --
as we will see in August,
using something which is not
where you point and where you are.
at landmarks on the comet.
boulders, craters --
respective to the comet.
to go beyond the orbit of Jupiter
than it actually is,
to use radio isotope thermal generators
so there was no choice.
specially selected small people.
65 square meters.
when we got to the comet,
is not always a very handy choice.
for the Rosetta scientific objectives
of the Earth to the sun --
than we could achieve with fuel,
much fuel as the whole spacecraft weighed.
at very low altitude,
of that planet around the sun for free.
we did twice Earth again,
Lutetia and Steins.
that if the spacecraft got into trouble,
save the spacecraft anymore,
except for one clock.
and the way this works.
the circle where we started,
more and more and more elliptical,
doing the rendezvous maneuvers.
took a few pictures to test our cameras.
that word didn't exist. (Laughter)
by the CIVA camera.
and the solar array in the distance.
of hibernation in January 2014,
from the comet in May.
the spacecraft had was much too fast.
faster than the comet, so we had to brake.
some of them were really big.
by a few hundred kilometers per hour,
was seven hours,
hours, because in 2007,
of the propulsion of Rosetta,
operating at a pressure
or qualified for.
and these were the first pictures we saw.
is 12 and a half hours,
our flight dynamics engineers thought,
an easy thing to land on.
of spud-like thing
it was clearly unavoidable:
in all the detail you could get,
which is 500 meters in diameter and flat.
we have on landing the probe.
and we mapped the comet.
sitting on the surface of the comet,
roughly what the shape of that rock is.
and you can map the comet.
starting in August.
of 100 kilometers on a side
thing at 50 kilometers.
at all kinds of angles,
to map the whole thing.
of landing sites.
to go from the mapping of the comet
the final landing site, was 60 days.
the average Mars mission
for years to meet
for Rosetta to launch Philae.
has to be at the right point in space,
because the lander is passive.
and moves towards the comet.
at Philae while it was departing
of the whole trajectory was seven hours.
by one centimeter per second,
one centimeter per second,
better than 100 meters
some of the science and the instruments.
of all the instruments,
we can measure dust particles,
an instrument which measures gas density
is September of last year.
which in itself is not surprising,
on the evaporation of gas
and then cools down on the back side.
the density variations of this.
and the organic compounds
much more to come,
going on in Houston at the moment
look very impressive,
when they saw this.
and they shot it with tantalum
the concentration of these two materials
which materials were there
elements is the imaging.
the OSIRIS camera,
of Science magazine
this body to look like this.
more like the Half Dome in Yosemite
on the righthand side, wind-blown shadows.
but this comet doesn't have an atmosphere,
a wind-blown shadow.
a lot to investigate.
you see in the middle a pit.
if you carefully look,
of the bottom of that pit.
is where the active regions are,
evaporates into space.
in the neck of the comet.
and it's two and a half meters wide.
which hammer in the ground and drill, etc.
because you want to compare
with what you find on the comet.
ground truth measurements.
and further away from Rosetta.
taken at 60 meters by the lander,
before we landed on the comet.
but from a different perspective,
from the bottom-left to the middle
over the surface of the comet.
and an after image of the landing.
there is no lander.
at the right-hand side of this image,
but it had bounced.
to have a lander which would bounce.
it was way too expensive.
in the magnetometers,
from the three axes, x, y and z.
is during the first bounce,
with one of the legs of the lander,
of the lander changed.
the iconic images of Rosetta.
a leg of the lander,
images of space science I have ever seen.
is to actually find the lander.
is where we know it must be.
but the search is continuing,
the lander to work again.
and somewhere in April,
we found on the comet:
a very big rock, but it's not.
in June, July, August last year
a second leaving this comet:
250 TV crews in Germany.
who was following me all day
for the whole day.
when leaving the control room,
and I still feel this.
landing day without crying,
I would like to leave you.
About the speaker:Fred Jansen - Space explorer
As manager of the Rosetta mission, Fred Jansen is in charge of the project that could be instrumental in uncovering clues to the origins of life on Earth.
Why you should listen
Fred Jansen manages the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, which guided a probe into orbit around a comet and dispatched a lander to its surface -- both firsts in space exploration. Although the lander Philae could not accomplish its full mission before going into hibernation, the data it’s already gathered will immeasurably multiply our knowledge of comets and their contributions to the ingredients of life on Earth.
In addition to his work with the Rosetta Mission, Jansen oversees the ESA’s XMM-Newton, an orbiting x-ray space observatory delving into the most elusive secrets of the universe, including black holes and dark matter.
Fred Jansen | Speaker | TED.com