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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Carls React to Comet Landing

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This past Wednesday, a European probe named Philae landed on a comet for the first time in human history. This same probe made history earlier this year by becoming the first probe to orbit around a comet. This landing will give scientists an unprecedented opportunity to observe the composition of the comet.

Philae could lead to important clues about the formation of Earth, and how life began. Comets are thought to have delivered the bodies of water on our planet and their chemical composition could have been crutial to the devel- opment of life. The flight into the outer reaches of the solar system began twenty years ago, back when many Carls were still in elementary school. The trip was over four billion miles long and the probe is now effectively communicating with NASA and the European Space station.

This is a very exicting discovery, and many people around campus have been disucssing the effects that this landing will have on science all week.

“It is super cool. There has been less conversation about it then there should be considering the magnitude of this discovery. Thinking about what this actually is, after ten years of space travel, this thing has actually landed. I can’t even wrap my head over the magnitude of what this means. This discovery is really two- fold; one is that it will provide a lot of knowledge that the scientific community will ponder for years to come. The second is a hope that it will spark interest in the sciences for future generations because this is truly just a cool discovery that many people are going to want to learn about.” – Andy Rogers ‘16

“I think in physics classes this discovery would be a lot more relevant than in the classes that I am currently taking. Having said that, the amount of precision to land on something that we do not know the composition of is just incredible, because when you think about it, so many things could have gone completely wrong. I also think that this discovery gives me hope for when an asteroid comes hurdling towards the Earth. This information will definitely help us to survive. We will need to be able to use thrusters to land on such an asteroid in order to destroy it, and then once we land on it we can use lasers to finish it off.” – Maddy Cosgriff ‘17

“I want to date an alien someday and this discovery has brought us one step closer toward that time. On a more serious note I think that this is proof that we have to reinvest in the United States’ space program. The fact that this was a European Mission goes to show that we are falling behind in the sciences. Discoveries like this one are miraculous but entirely possible and I think that it is incredibly important for the United States to be a part of these advances.” – Maddie Lewis ‘16

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