Saturday, November 15, 2014

What We Learned From Philae ... So Far

Things Humanity Has Gained From Philae Comet Lander / Driller

image from the European Space Agency (ESA) November 13, 2014
Photo: Philae Comet Lander / Driller, Nov. 13, 2014
SPACE -- The robot, which was still working Friday evening, is finally asleep ...
Rosetta Philae transmitted data on drilling the "Choury" comet.

The photo above, wast taken by the Rosetta Philae robot lander on comet "tchouri" and transmitted by the European Space Agency November 13, 2014

This little robot is a tough guy. Stuck in the shadow of a rock comet "Choury" with almost empty batteries, Philae was able to send data to Earth Friday night. "We have received everything."

"Everything went exactly as planned. It could even make the rotation to optimize reception of light on the solar panels," said Jean-Pierre Bibring in a telephone interview from the control center of Philae in Cologne (Germany).

"The relationship with Rosetta was established a little later than expected. Maybe I moved a little ;)", tweeted the European Space Agency.

It was however the last contact with Philae. "in standby mode," he "will doze off soon", it was announced on Friday night to Saturday by the European and French space agencies. The contact was finally lost to 01:36 French time, according to the CNES in Toulouse, which believed that the battery should be fully discharged by Philae around 3am.

Before dozing off, Philae was able to make a last-minute drill. However, it will wait to see if the sample has been brought to the surface.

Rotation before hibernation

One of the great abilities of the lander is the little robot's ability to rotate 35 ° to reorient its solar panels. This could allow Philae out of hibernation around the Summer, when the comet will approach the Sun, according to Philippe Gaudon, head of the Rosetta project at CNES.

Whatever happens at Philae, the Rosetta mission is far from over. The probe, which has traveled 6.5 billion miles in space, continues to escort "Choury" at least until August 13. It is at this time that the comet will pass closest to the Sun and should become inoperative.

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