SCIENTIA SINICA Physica, Mechanica & Astronomica, Volume 49 , Issue 8 : 084503(2019) https://doi.org/10.1360/SSPMA2018-00349

The descent and rebound trajectory of comet lander Philae

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  • ReceivedOct 12, 2018
  • AcceptedNov 27, 2018
  • PublishedMay 17, 2019
PACS numbers


Comet exploration is one of the focuses of the deep space exploration. It is of great significance for understanding the origin of the Earth’s life and the evolution of the early solar system. The lander Philae is an important part of the Rosetta mission. As the first lander landing on the comet 67P, Philae stands out as one of the notable landmarks in the progress of space exploration. Firstly, this paper derives the mathematical model of Philae for its orbital motion and surface motion. Due to the complexity of the first touchdown, the simulation is divided into two stages, i.e., the orbital motion stage and the surface motion stage. In this study, Philae’s descent and rebound trajectory are reconstructed by comparing with those reconstructed by ESA. Finally, a parametric study of the rebound trajectory is made by varying tangential and normal restitution coefficients of the first touch point TD1. The influence of the restitution coefficient on the surface rebound trajectory of Philae is analyzed.

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