1

Comet Lander Re-establishes Radio Contact with Earth and Sends Data From Surface

The first image from the surface of a comet! This picture from the Philae lander’s CIVA camera system confirm the probe is safely on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

The first image from the surface of a comet! This picture from the Philae lander’s CIVA camera system confirm the probe is safely on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Source: BBC News

The Philae lander on the distant comet 67P re-established radio contact with Earth on Friday night, downlinking yet another stream of science data.

Everything expected from the little probe was delivered, just before low battery power dropped it into standby mode.

The robot is shadowed by a cliff and cannot get enough light on to its solar panels to recharge its systems.

Engineers fear this contact may have been its last – certainly for a while.

Philae descended to the surface of 67P on Wednesday – the first time in history that a space mission has made a soft landing on a comet.

The next opportunity to talk to Philae will come around 1100 GMT on Saturday, when the orbiting Rosetta satellite – which delivered it to the 4km-wide “ice mountain” – comes over the horizon.

Read the rest of the article…