Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×
Space NASA United States News

Scientists Say Goodbye to Philae Comet Lander (cnn.com) 69

Today, scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) announced that they are saying goodbye to Philae, the comet lander that is currently perched on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it races toward the sun. According to Stephan Ulamec, Philae's project manager, "Unfortunately, the probability of Philae re-establishing contact with our team at the DLR Lander Control Center is almost zero." Philae first made history when it successfully landed on a comet in fall of 2014, but problems soon began when commands were not able to reach the robot.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Scientists Say Goodbye to Philae Comet Lander

Comments Filter:
  • by Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @02:46PM (#51495831)

    As far as I can tell, the lander worked exactly as intended for as long as intended. It's the extended mission that had issues, and that was always an "if possible"/"best effort" prospect .People are continuing to think that this mission was "troubled" and had a lot of problems but was just good, and they got a second shot - which was a very long shot.

            I am no apologist for the ESA (far from it) but this was a very nice, well-executed program and they shouldn't and the world shouldn't getting a negative impression about it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dins ( 2538550 )
      If I recall, when the lander hit the comet it was supposed to fire spikes or other anchors into the comet to hold in down, but one or more of them didn't fire and so the lander bounced around a lot and ended up under a shaded cliff. Yes, the whole program was great and can very well be considered successful, but it didn't work exactly as intended.
    • What? It was almost a complete failure. It didn't land how or where it was supposed to. It couldn't drill or sample like it was supposed to. Nothing worked except the camera and that didn't work for long because they landed in a place where the batteries ran out.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It was designed to accomplish all of its primary goals on battery power alone, which is a big factor in why they didn't want to complicate the mission with something like an RTG, while solar cells are simpler to add on in the hopes of getting an extended mission. Of the 10 instruments on board, 9 worked and collected useful data, with the drill being the one exception. Several of the instruments were of limited repeated use or would be unable to be powered under solar power even in ideal conditions. The

        • The whole reason for a lander was to drill, capture, bake, and sample the surface. How do I know? I'm working on a nearly identical mission for NASA that will go to permanently shadowed craters on the poles. Because it's a cheaper mission the success criteria is very limited. We must land and take data. But the whole reason we are going is to drill, capture, bake, and sample. That is the only way to really know what is there. If we fail that everyone on the mission will feel we failed. But as long as we lan

        • It was designed to accomplish all of its primary goals on battery power alone, which is a big factor in why they didn't want to complicate the mission with something like an RTG, while solar cells are simpler to add on in the hopes of getting an extended mission. Of the 10 instruments on board, 9 worked and collected useful data, with the drill being the one exception. Several of the instruments were of limited repeated use or would be unable to be powered under solar power even in ideal conditions. The only long term instruments would have been basically plasma monitoring equipment.

          That's what people don't get. The lander was basically designed as if it wouldn't have reliable solar power. If it did, then there was an extended mission where it could continue to collect additional data. Really, the biggest failure was the landing system which was supposed to anchor it down. If that had worked, it wouldn't have bounced all over the place and it likely would have had enough light for the solar panels to work. It's also likely that they would have been able to use the drill. But even

    • The orbiter (Rosetta) worked fine. The lander, not so much. Though it wasn't the total washout that the herp-derp-yerp crowd are claiming.

  • If it's the newly discovered tenth planet that's been nudging comets our way for all these years, I'd score it Planet X: 1, Earth: 0.

  • Backasswards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spaceman375 ( 780812 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @03:11PM (#51495993)
    The comet is moving AWAY from the sun, not towards it. Summary and article are written by people who regurgitate more than remember.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    this round we lost it, but is it possible that the module on the comet will wake up next time it cames back to sun?
    wiki says the orbit is 6.5 years, that's quite short time

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Successfully landed, as opposed to ricocheting off, clattering into a hole upside down and failing to achieve most of the science. Every statement I've seen since has been studiously decorated with "successful".

Coding is easy; All you do is sit staring at a terminal until the drops of blood form on your forehead.

Working...