Philae might have bounced


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Data from the Philae lander suggests that, when the spacecraft’s harpoons failed to fire, the probe might have bounced and then settled to the surface.

[T]elemetry from the craft suggested it might have drifted off the surface after landing and started to turn. This subsequently came to an end, which the German Space Agency official interpreted as a possible “second landing” on Comet 67P. This “bounce” was always a possibility, but had been made more likely by the failure of the harpoons to deploy, and the failure of a thruster intended to push the robot into the surface.

One comment

  • C.V.Accardo

    Absolutely awestruck. The first SURFACE image from the surface of…..A COMET?!!!
    One can’t help but think of all humanity that pre-dates us who looked up with both fear and hope.
    Now, humanity has positioned itself to look down upon a comet…..quite literally.

    Was wondering if the image released by ESA is presented in proper orientation
    or whether Philea might have “bounced” and settled on its side? Any thoughts….
    or rather guesses….hope to learn at ESA briefing at 14:00 GMT.

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