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Space & Astronomy

All attempts to contact Philae have failed

By T.K. Randall
January 12, 2016 · Comment icon 13 comments

Philae was the first spacecraft ever to land on a comet. Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 German Aerospace Center
ESA's Philae lander has gone silent and it's unlikely that it will ever be possible to contact it again.
The probe, which became the first ever to land on a comet when it detached from the Rosetta spacecraft and headed down towards the surface of 67P back in 2014, has finally fallen silent.

The mission, though highly successful, was fraught with problems from the beginning after the probe bounced off the comet on landing and ended up in the shadows where its solar panels couldn't get enough sunlight to generate the power needed to keep it going properly.
Within the space of only 57 hours the probe fell silent, however six months later, as the comet reached its closest approach to the sun, Philae was able to power itself back up for a short time.

Sadly now though, with the comet speeding away from the sun in to the cold dark of space, the chances of Philae ever waking up again are quickly approaching zero. A desperate final attempt during the weekend to communicate with the probe has unfortunately ended in failure.

"People are all very sad now, but we should not be so sad about what we couldn't achieve and be happy about all the data we could get after the landing," said project manager Stephen Ulamec.

Source: Gizmodo | Comments (13)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Myles 9 years ago
Bummer. Lots of $$ spend and not many returns. Not successful at all factoring in the cost.
Comment icon #5 Posted by barbco196 9 years ago
Am I the only one that finds it sad that this poor space probe has lost all connection?
Comment icon #6 Posted by pallidin 9 years ago
Dang. Even still, what an absolutely amazing, remarkable feat of what was done.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Sundew 9 years ago
Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do.
Comment icon #8 Posted by DieChecker 9 years ago
Perhaps Branson will send someone up to fix it eventually.
Comment icon #9 Posted by ChrLzs 9 years ago
Am I the only one that finds it sad that this poor space probe has lost all connection? No, you're not. Reminds me of this from the wonderful XKCD site:
Comment icon #10 Posted by highdesert50 9 years ago
ESA has quite successfully pursued risky missions. Rosetta was the first to rendezvous and orbit a comet and, further, send a lander to the surface. And, let us not forget the amazing photography of Titan provided by the Huygens probe; the first and only spacecraft to land in the outer solar system. Let us recognize the risk takers ... Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all (Helen Keller).
Comment icon #11 Posted by MJNYC 9 years ago
Will the future perhaps meet "EP", such as V'Ger (Voyager 6)? Live long and prosper.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Merc14 9 years ago
Bummer. Lots of $$ spend and not many returns. Not successful at all factoring in the cost. Actually Philae was able to complete its main mission before entering hibernation and is considered a success as far as the mission is concerned. Check it out
Comment icon #13 Posted by SHSL Medical Killer 9 years ago
It seems it's time for the little probe to rest.

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