Philae has Landed

Philae, the landing craft of Rosetta, the robot ship that’s been flying through space for 10 years – not a long time for a robot, but an amazing feat on the part of her builders – to meet this rendezvous with destiny, has landed.

Why is  this cooler than the moon landing?chury gury

The moon is big, and has a nice smooth surface.  Chury-Gury is small, like a couple of kilometers all the way around it, and lumpier than cold oatmeal.

It took 3 days to fly to the moon.  Rosetta, as I believe I’ve mentioned, flew for 10 years and did a couple of loops around other planets and stuff.  For one thing, that just seems like amazing forward planning.  Most people don’t know where they’ll be this time tomorrow with that level of precision.  The other super cool thing about that is that it demonstrates one thing that it’s far easier for a robot to do than  a human  being.    Spend 10 years in space.  Hell, a robot will fly for thousands of years.  Soon, we will be able to send a robot, with all sorts of capabilities, to Alpha Centauri.  Why not?

Also, robots are expendable.  Not lightly expendable, that’s still a billion dollar piece of equipment, but hey, it’s better than getting people killed by getting too close to the sun, for instance.

People may well colonize the galaxy some day, but robots will lead the way.


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