Rosetta's lander, Philae is scheduled to land on Comet 67P in November 2014. This will involve use of "harpoon" to anchor itself to make sure Philae remains attached to the surface despite weak gravity.
Due to the time lag, I understand we cannot have control over this in real time. Considering this, I have following questions about this scheduled landing:
- Did we have sufficient information about the composition of this Comet to determine the thrust required for anchoring the harpoon? Or is it yet to be determined?
- Will there be any auto-checks to verify successful anchoring?
- What degree of control will we have about the exact location of the landing site?