Never before seen footage of the Philae lander as it is jettisoned from the Rosetta spacecraft and after a few attempts, attaches itself to the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet. As Philae bounced twice before finally touching down, scientists from the European Space Agency reported that the craft had settled onto a powder 1.5 inches thick.
The soft landing prevented the harpoons from firing to attach Philae securely to the comet. With only a minimum amount of gravitational pull holding the craft in place, scientists decided to start collecting surface samples.
It wasn't long before they realized that the craft had landed in the shadow of a cliff, thus preventing the sun from recharging the craft's batteries. With time running out on the existing battery life, it was decided to start drilling bore holes and hope that it wuldn't push the craft away from the comet.
Soon after the boring began, they lost sight of the lander. The good news was that the ESA was beginning to receive boring data from Philae indicating that the comet contained minerals similar to those found here on Earth. After several days and with the use of our high-powered electron telescope, we were finally able to pinpoint the exact location of where the Philae lander is drilling.
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Rosetta Philae comet lander 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko European Space Agency ESA batteries harpoons organic molecules spacecraft drilling surface located detects gravity science samples solar energy sun images probe comet