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Space & Planetary Science

The Little Comet Lander That Could

By Keith Cowing
November 17, 2014
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Osiris Spots Philae Drifting Across Comet 67P/C
“These incredible images show the breathtaking journey of Rosetta’s Philae lander as it approached and then rebounded from its first touchdown on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014.”
Philae Spacecraft – robotic european space agency (ESA) lander, eBay
“Highly complex spacecraft with on-board laboratory, solar panels (requires sun), inter-stellar communications pack. Power system, Thermal control system, Landing gear, Anchoring system (faulty). Buyer must collect item from it’s storage location on Comet 67P.”
Why we all fell in love with Rosetta’s Philae lander, Washington Post
“By Friday night, we knew it was coming to an end: That morning, Rosetta scientists had told the public that Philae’s batteries were almost certainly going to die during their next communication link with the probe. And sure enough, Philae’s Twitter account followed through until the end, tweeting out a series of messages about going to sleep that made many (myself included) express grief for – and immense pride in – the little lander that could.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.