Friday, 14 November 2014

Stainless Steel searches for 'Earth like' gases on comet 67p

The Rosetta mission spacecraft, which is the first to ever land on a comet (67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko), consists of the Rosetta space probe orbiter, and the Philae robotic lander.

Now situated on the comet, the Philae lander will perform analysis of soil samples it takes from the comet's surface. One of these experiments is gas chromatography, a vital part of the Rosetta project because it enables the mission to characterise, identify and quantify volatile cometary compounds, including larger organic molecules.  The analysis uses 2 gas chromatographs one of which consists of 8 capillary columns the fourth of these being made of treated Stainless Steel. This fourth column searches for the gases we'd find in our atmosphere.

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