Rosetta landing site named Agilkia

The Philae lander will attempt to touch down on the site on 12 November 2014

The landing site was chosen from one of five potential sites across the comet's surface.

Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM - CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

The Rosetta mission’s landing site has been named Agilkia after an island in the Nile River near to Philae, the place from which the landing probe takes its name.

The site, a one square kilometre sized oval, was chosen not only because it is accessible from Rosetta’s orbit, but also because it has good lighting conditions, allowing Philae to recharge its batteries. 

However, the Philae lander has no thrusters to steer with, instead relying on Rosetta pushing it in the right direction, and the good aim of mission control over 500 million km away on Earth. The site is littered with boulders and crevasses, so a measure of good luck will be needed for a successful landing.

If everything goes according to plan then the 100kg probe will attempt to land on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November.

Have a go at trying to land on the comet yourself using the BBC's interactive game.


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