Science 05 Sep 2016 ESA: Rosetta space p ...

ESA: Rosetta space probe finds lost Philae lander on comet

AFP
Published Sep 5, 2016, 8:13 pm IST
Updated Sep 5, 2016, 9:05 pm IST
Less than a month before the end of the mission, Rosetta's high-resolution camera has revealed the Philae lander.
Cameras onboard Europe's comet orbiter Rosetta has spotted the tiny lander Philae. (Representational image)
 Cameras onboard Europe's comet orbiter Rosetta has spotted the tiny lander Philae. (Representational image)

Berlin: The European Space Agency's Rosetta space probe has located its lost Philae lander, wedged in a "dark crack" on the side of a comet.

The agency said Monday Rosetta's camera finally captured an image of the lander on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, weeks before the probe's own mission ends.

 

Philae touched down on the comet two years ago but bounced from its intended site and couldn't be found, though its general vicinity was known.

After sending data to Earth for three days its battery ran out and it went into hibernation, only to recharge enough to communicate briefly with Rosetta in mid-2015.

ESA plans to crash Rosetta into the comet September 30, because the probe is unlikely to survive lengthy hibernation in orbit as the comet heads away from the sun.

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