July 29, 2014 : ROSETTA Arrives at the COMET67P – and the world watches on. After coping for many months with the stresses of MH370, then MH17, we now have the Israel-Palestine confrontation showing the very worst of the human condition. To help us cope with these horrors, the world’s media did bring us the 2014 Brazil Soccer World Cup. It was an event which brought much needed joy to the world’s population. The good news is that we now have another global (or should I say Cosmic) event which is guaranteed to bring much needed joy.
So it is with optimism that we greet the arrival of the Rosetta Mission at COMET 67P.
This BLOG entry is addressed to the program planners at the BBC and CNN (et al) even at GOOGLE who did such a fine job covering COMET ISON’s perihelion disintegration event on Thanksgiving Eve last November 2013.
Lets re-explain how the Rosetta Mission has been journeying for 10 years. Wikipedia summarizes it well. It finally arrives this month (August 2014). It is currently slowly pulling up alongside the Comet 67P – approaching kilometer by kilometer finally arriving next Wednesday August 6th. The best way to follow the arrival is on Twitter. There you will get daily links to news and current images.
You will recall TV coverage of ISON last October and November was substantial. CNN and the BBC realized that this was a compelling story and even though the COMET pretty much disintegrated in time for USA Thanksgiving Dinner, fortunately the Europeans continued to observe and as the Yanks were eating their turkey, the world watched something slowly reappear around from the back of the SUN. Awesome was the only word to describe that evening.
Well we are all expecting the excitement of Rosetta’s landing on the COMET 67P to be even more breathtaking. Of course people like myself are wondering if we will be able to detect “signs of life” once we are on the surface. But to the children of the world, the excitement will be landing on this massive asteroid orbiting the SUN.
Adults usually explain to their children how exciting it was when Man landed on the MOON in 1969. But to today’s young people, now used to robots, drones and virtual reality, this “experience” will be compelling. They will easily be able to feel they are actually inside the Philae Lander Craft.
It will be the actual landing and exploration of the surface of the comet which will hold the world spell-bound in November 2014. But as build up to this event, the next 3 months, especially the next 4 weeks, CNN and BBC can be expected to bring the world’s best TV Science Communicators to your TV screens to explain what is happening and to share the wonder.