Orbiter spots missing comet lander Philae

2016-09-05 22:18

Paris - Cameras on board Europe's comet orbiter Rosetta have spotted the tiny lander Philae for the first time since its crash-landing in November 2014, the European Space Agency said on Monday.


This handout picture obtained from the European Space Agency shows images of the landing craft "Philae" viewed for the first time since its crash landing. (ESA via AFP)

"Less than a month before the end of the mission, Rosetta's high-resolution camera has revealed the Philae lander wedged into a dark crack on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko," it said in a statement.

The images were taken on 2 September by the Osiris narrow-angle camera as the orbiter came within 2.7 km of the surface and clearly show the main body of the lander, along with two of its three legs, the statement reads.

Philae is seen wedged against a large over-hang. Its 1m-wide box shape and legs are unmistakable, however.

The images also provide proof of Philae’s orientation, making it clear why establishing communication was so difficult following its landing on 12 November 2014.

Read more on:    esa  |  paris  |  space exploration

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