Hooray, They've Found Philae!
European Space Agency discovered comet lander missing since 2014 stuck in 'dark crack'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 5, 2016 10:58 AM CDT
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This photo released by the European Space Agency on Monday shows the comet lander Philae in a crack on the right side of a photo taken by Rosetta on Friday of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet.   (Uncredited)
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(Newser) – 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 the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, weeks before the probe's own mission ends, the AP reports. 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 batteries 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 Sept. 30, because the probe is unlikely to survive lengthy hibernation in orbit as the comet heads away from the sun.