Comet Lander Philae no longer responds to commands

Jan

12

2016

Philae, the spacecraft landed in 2014 on the 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko, seems to not be awakened. The European Space Agency made efforts to control the lander, but that failed.

The ESA has instructed the Philae lander in recent times to perform a maneuver, but received no response from the vehicle. Stephan Ulamec, working as a manager at the space agency, says that it is necessary to be realistic with regard to the chances of Philae even to life, so says he in a reaction to New Scientist. “The chances are getting smaller every day as we ever further from the sun to come out,” said Ulamec. That means that the probability that the solar panels are charging the comet lander battery are shrinking.

Philae was last June still wake up again successfully made ​​after the solar panels the vehicle began to charge. The power issues related to unforeseen problems with the landing, which was harsher than intended. This ensured that Philae eventually came to a stop at a different location, and less light on the solar panels than was intended.

In November, the researchers received more data within the measurements Philae on the 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko, or in short 67P, performed. According to the ESA lander probably more interesting information stand in his memory, but it seems unlikely that these can still be sent to Earth.

There is still a trick to gather more information about the comet when Philae has landed. Rosetta satellite, which follows the path of 67P, will be controlled crash later on this year, but will meanwhile have to make some pictures. That ESA should provide more information on the precise location of Philae has landed, so the data is sent to the lander can be better interpreted.

In November 2014 Philae landed on 67P, the first time that it has successfully landed a spacecraft on a comet. The mission therefore meant a great success for the ESA, but was not conducted smoothly. The bounce problems have to do with a lack of gravity in such a relatively small objects.

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