Rosetta's 'Philae' Makes Historic First Landing on a Comet

Science & Technology

Rosetta's 'Philae' Makes Historic First Landing on a Comet

Postby out in space on Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:09 pm

This image of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was taken by the Philae lander of the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission during Philae's descent toward the comet on Nov. 12, 2014. Philae's ROLIS camera took the image from a distance of approximately two miles (three kilometers) from the surface.


After more than a decade traveling through space, a robotic lander built by the European Space Agency has made the first-ever soft landing of a spacecraft on a comet.

Mission controllers at ESA's mission operations center in Darmstadt, Germany, received a signal confirming that the Philae lander had touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Wednesday, Nov. 12, just after 8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST. ... GTjzMnYDkg

Modern technology at it's best, but only for 2 days and then the battery dies, unless it can fully recharge. The mothership continues it's journey, but with the millions, perhaps billions this is costing, A lot of prayers from the scientists hoping they get some questions answered after all of their hard work.

More information can be found here:


From the BBC:

Another very important concern is the amount of sunlight available to Philae.

The probe set off from Rosetta with 60-plus hours of battery life, and will need at some point to recharge using its solar panels. But early reports indicate that in its present position, the robot is receiving only one-and-a-half hours of sunlight during every 12-hour rotation of the comet. This will not be enough to sustain operations.
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Re: Rosetta's 'Philae' Makes Historic First Landing on a Comet

Postby southernfry on Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:20 pm

There is a strong chance Europe's comet lander will wake up from hibernation as it nears the sun, raising hopes for a second series of scientific measurements from the surface next year, scientists involved in the mission said Monday.

The Philae lander, which became the first spacecraft to touch down on a comet Wednesday, has already sent reams of data back to Earth that scientists are eagerly examining. But there were fears its mission would be cut short because it came to rest in the shadow of a cliff. ... -1.2837561

Reality, it all comes down to the flip of a coin, either it works or it doesn't

That should happen next spring, when Philae and the comet it is riding on — called 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko — get closer to the sun, warming up a secondary battery on board. A few days of sunshine on the solar panels should be enough to charge the battery sufficiently to conduct science runs, said Ulamec.

And if it doesn't, how much money was lost waiting for a 50/50 chance?
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