ESA

Philae comet lander goes to sleep as batteries near end

Philae comet lander goes to sleep as batteries near end

The Philae comet lander has gone into a sleep mode after being unable to get enough sunlight to recharge its batteries, the European Space Agency has reported. This follows a hiccup with landing that caused Philae to bounce off the comet's surface and eventually land elsewhere, with its final resting place being a position where it isn't able to get adequate sunlight. A ray of hope remains, however, as the mission controllers were able to rotate Philae enough before going idle that it may get more sunlight than previously available.

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Rosetta’s lander may be fading, but its photos are incredible

Rosetta’s lander may be fading, but its photos are incredible

Philae may be lost somewhere on Comet 67P, rapidly running out of power, and yet to tie itself down safely, but that's not stopping the Rosetta mission from sending back some incredible photos of the hurtling space rock. Images captured both by the lander itself and the Rosetta rocket that delivered it to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko - and is currently orbiting it as a radio lifeline back to Earth - show the incredible surface both from close orbit and from Philae's unexpectedly awkward current resting place, though how much longer the probe will be able to send back footage is unclear.

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Philae future in question as comet lander battery dwindles

Philae future in question as comet lander battery dwindles

The Philae lander that traveled 3.98 million miles to land on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkohas is now frantically attempting as much scientific research as it can, with the ESA concerned that its batteries could die in less than a day. The European Space Agency planned to run Philae, its Rosetta mission probe to a comet hurtling 80,000 mph through space, through until March 2015, investigating how the icy space rock was affected by the sun as it travels in the solar system, but an awkward landing - or, more accurately, three landings - has left the future of the experiment in question.

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Rosetta lander sends comet postcard (but there’s a problem)

Rosetta lander sends comet postcard (but there’s a problem)

As unusual views of space go, the surface of a comet rushing more than 80,000 mph through the universe from a tiny lander perched on its surface ranks pretty high on the list. That's just what the European Space Agency's Philae lander has beamed back to Earth - via the Rosetta spaceship it hitched a ride to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkohas on - after successfully landing on the rocky surface yesterday. It's the incredible culmination of a decade-long journey and a seven hour descent; problem is, while the view might be dramatic, it's also threatening Philae's long-term survival.

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Rosetta mission success: comet landing a go!

Rosetta mission success: comet landing a go!

This morning the ESA Space Probe Rosetta has successfully sent a lander to a comet. This was the first time humanity has ever accomplished such a task. It's been confirmed as of 10:05 AM Central Time that the Philae Lander has touched down and that the Rosetta craft is indeed receiving signals from the surface of the comet. This 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is the first comet to have been landed on by a human-sent craft in space. Now we begin the wait for photos from the surface.

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ESA Rosetta Probe finds comet smells like a litter box

ESA Rosetta Probe finds comet smells like a litter box

The European Space Agency sent a probe into space to link up with a comet many months ago called Rosetta. The comet that was the target for the probe is known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Already the probe has been able to send back some of the most detailed images of the surface of a comet that we have ever seen. The probe has also been gathering data on other aspects of the comet, such as what sort of molecules are being emitting.

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