Philae Status : On its side against a cliff

Here is the status of the Lander as I understand it – Philae bounced 3 times (the first bounce took it up 1 km) and wound up on its side against a cliff. It needs to move, or it drain its batteries by the weekend. So, ESA says they will try this : “We will deploy the MUPUS penetrator for 2/3 of the max. length and then insert it.” The idea (I believe) is to get the craft up on its feet and get it more solar power.

I get the feeling that Philae was just bouncing along (and the comet was rotating under it) until it came up against something vertical that blocked its path. The picture (see below) is pretty spectacular – I had to look at several times to realize it was taken pointing up, not horizontally.

The first panorama from Philae. This is a view up the cliff, not along the surface.  You can see its leg down at the bottom; that is the one sticking up into space.

The first panorama from Philae. This is a view up the cliff, not along the surface. You can see its leg down at the bottom; that is the one sticking up into space.

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2 thoughts on “Philae Status : On its side against a cliff

  1. Pingback: RT @AsteroidEnergy: Quick blog on the status of Ph… : Nightskyonline.info

  2. The current status : Philae is currently out of battery power and is “sleeping.” Just before it went dead ground control rotated it by 30 degrees to improve the orientation of the solar panels. So, it may come back today, it may come back in a few weeks or months as the comet 67/P gets closer to the Sun, or, alas, it may never come back at all. We just won’t know until it happens (or not). See
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30069244
    for more.

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