ESO Team bids final farewell to robot lab Philae
On Wednesday, Earth gave a final farewell to robot lab Philae, breaking communications after nearly a year-long silence from the ground-breaking probe.
The washing machine-sized craft has penned down an amazing chapter in space history. It was the first to land on a comet—primitive rubble from the Solar System formation.
Its brave exploits recorded the imagination of kids and numerous adults, who followed the probe’s successes and tribulations through social platform Twitter and an animated cartoon series.
In a blog entitled: ‘Farewell, silent Philae’, the European Space Agency (ESA) said that as no news came in over a year, a decision has been taken to preserve all the left energy accessible to Philae's orbiting mothership Rosetta.
For coming two months, Rosetta will stay in orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. On September 30, it will crash land, joining Philae in their ultimate resting place, bringing to end an historic mission for cometary signs to the origins of life on our planet.
On Wednesday, while speaking to AFP from ground control in Cologne, Andreas Schuetz of German space agency DLR said that now the communication with Philae has been halted. Schuetz called it the end of an interesting and successful mission for the people and for science.
In March 2004, Philae was launched into space, attached with Rosetta, as part of
a 1.3-billion-euroESA mission.
They covered a distance of around some 6.5 billion km with the help gravity boosts from Earth and Mars, and then in August 2014 finally made it to 67P's orbit.
Rosetta then sent the 100-kilogrammeprobe towards the comet surface after three months, making the onset of an exciting deep-space saga. The harpoons of Philae weren’t able to fire into the comet surface, and bounced back many times.
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