The Brave Little Comet Lander

If you haven’t heard, the European Space Agency sent an orbiter called Rosetta to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Over the past 10 years it has been preparing for it’s mission to map the comet as well as send the Philae probe to its surface. On Nov. 12 Philae landed on the surface of the comet three times as it bounced due to low gravity and it’s harpoons not firing. Unfortunately it landed in the shadows of a cliff and at this angle did not have enough power than a few days of observations and is now in hibernation mode.

Some great information is on the ESA site, and I for one hope that Philae will catch a break and get some solar energy as 67P gets closer to the sun and they will get a second chance to collect data. It’s like the Spirit Rover on Mars which had its panels covered in dust and it got stuck in the sand. I keep hoping that one day we will be able to get it going again or at the very least, future astronauts will repair it and memorialize its location.