Bad news on Philae. After an historic 57-hour mission, comet lander Philae shut down as her batteries went flat. She entered a deep sleep after sending her last transmission from the surface of Comet 67P. Because she landed at the base of a cliff in deep shadow where her solar panels were blocked, she only operated for 57 hours.  

communications with philae

Communications with Philae were lost just before the expected end of the radio link to Rosetta

But, she was able to send back wonderful information from the comet’s nucleus:  her onboard instrument panel was able to drill and analyze a soil sample, use radio waves to study the internal makeup of the comet, and take temperature readings. Most of all  were the fantastic close-up photos of the comet’s surface she transmitted back to mission control of the European Space Agency, which is over the project.

The ESA rotated her 30 degrees before she turned off. She will not run as long as planned; she will only get just one-and-a-half hours of sunlight every day during the comet’s 12-hour day. But, as the comet approaches closer to the Sun, Philae will be able to run her batteries from the solar energy she receives from the Sun shining on her solar panels. By then, the mission specialists hope to angle her panels to receive more solar energy as well as to communicate with her sometime next year in August, 2015.

All said, the information she has gathered is impressive and informative in increasing our knowledge of the beautiful and mysterious comets.

Sleep well little voyager.

Catch you on the flipside.


area on 67p






philae photo




Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s