10 Stories

Hooray, They've Found Philae!

European Space Agency discovered comet lander missing since 2014 stuck in 'dark crack'

(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... More »

Philae Comet Lander Awakes, Drops Earth a Line

ESA's sleeping lander has moved closer to sun, recharged batteries

(Newser) - The Philae lander, which went dark after being dropped on the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet last November, has awoken from its long nap and contacted Earth, European Space Agency officials tell the BBC . Philae, which worked for 60 hours before its solar batteries died, has since moved closer to the sun (aboard... More »

Lander 'Sniffed' Organic Molecules on Comet

But an attempt to get a soil sample may have failed

(Newser) - Before its battery petered out , the small spacecraft that landed on a moving comet managed to detect organic molecules on the comet, reports NBC News . An instrument aboard the Philae lander essentially sniffed the atmosphere and found evidence of the molecules, which, as the Wall Street Journal explains, are the... More »

Comet Lander's Batteries Die

But it manages to send data to scientists

(Newser) - In a development that's no huge surprise , the comet lander Philae is entering what the European Space Agency calls "idle mode." When the lander missed its intended spot on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko—and its harpoons didn't manage to lock into the comet successfully—it couldn't get... More »

Scientists Hope to Make Comet Lander Hop to Safety

If it doesn't get sunlight soon, mission could be over

(Newser) - The spacecraft that landed on a comet yesterday is still talking to scientists, but its battery is expected to conk out soon. In what could be a last-ditch effort to save the mission, scientists with the European Space Agency say they'll try to make the Philae lander essentially hop... More »

Probe That Landed on Comet May Not Be Secure

Harpoons might have to be fired again

(Newser) - No matter what, the European Space Agency made history today with its astonishing feat of landing a spacecraft on a comet . But now the ESA has a simpler concern: Its Philae lander, about the size of a washing machine, might fall off. The main problem is that the lander's... More »

Success: ESA Lands Philae on Comet

Lots of relief at ESA headquarters as spacecraft touches down

(Newser) - The European Space Agency's unmanned Rosetta probe successfully landed on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko today, capping its final seven-hour journey with a historic rendezvous with the fast-moving lump of dust and ice. Philae's audacious landing attempt is the climax of a decade-long mission to study the 2.... More »

Scientists Brace for Comet Landing's '7 Hours of Terror'

Philae to depart tomorrow morning

(Newser) - Tomorrow's a big day at the European Space Agency: Officials are getting ready to land a probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko , reports. The Philae robot will have to navigate a "very, very rough" surface, and officials won't know whether things have worked out until after what... More »

For Comet Landing, 'J' Marks the Spot

Robot will get one shot to touch down on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

(Newser) - Europe's space agency has finally decided exactly where on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko it's going to attempt to land a robot—and in this case, "J" marks the spot. The robot, called Philae, is currently being carried by the space probe Rosetta, which is orbiting 67P after a decade-long... More »

After 10-Year Chase, Space Probe Catches Comet

Spacecraft to be 1st to hook up with a comet in yearlong trip around sun

(Newser) - The thrill is often in the chase itself—though for European Space Agency scientists, there's definitely a thrill in actually catching the object they've been chasing. The Rosetta space probe, which was sent hurtling through space a decade ago to hunt down comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko—aka the "rubber... More »

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