Technology Historic Philae robot lander goes to sleep

Historic Philae robot lander goes to sleep

Philae ROSETTA Lander
Philae ROSETTA Lander

(AA)- After his historic landing on ultrafast-moving comet 67P, robot probe Philae went down on early hours of Saturday as its core battery has died and his solar batteries couldn’t be re-charged, announced the French National Centre for Space Studies -ESA-.

ESA reported that Philae lost signal with the lander as he lost power, however he was able to send Data he gathered since he landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkoduring on Wednesday.  

” Loss of signal. No more communication with Philae 2014. All science data from First Science Sequence successfully downloaded,” said ESA on its official twitter account.

Philae’s main battery drained and he was unable to recharge his solar batteries as he got stuck in shadow of a cliff where he can be exposed to the sun for only three hours a day while it needed a recharging time up to seven hours.

While the lander’s original battery life was 60 hours, Philae is left with about 10.

The solar batteries were supposed to take over and allow Philae to keep functioning for months.

” So much hard work.. getting tired… my battery voltage is approaching the limit soon now,” twitted Philae .

However the lander has rotated himself from his position and continued sending Data to his mothership Rosetta.

After a while, the communication link became intermittent due to Philae’s low power.

” I’m feeling a bit tired, did you get all my data? I might take a nap, ” the lander twitted to his mothership. 

” Thank you, Rosetta ! I did it! I became the first spacecraft to land on a comet and study it! But it’s not over yet…,” tweeted Philae as he used up all his power.

” We are happy. We even can watch it falling asleep which is a little bit sad but it can give us data that we want to have,” Philae lander manager Stephan Ulamec said.

The sun will rise on Philae around 6:00 am UTC. However, Ulamec said that even if the solar panel is in a better position, “it’s quite possible that Philae won’t wake up tomorrow, but could recharge over days, wake later.”

” My life on a comet has just begun Rosetta. I’ll tell you more about my new home, comet #67P soon… zzzzz …,” was the last tweet  sent by the lander robot.

The Rosetta probe was launched on March 2, 2004, from Kourou in the French Guiana, and covered a distance of approximately 3.7 billion miles (six billion kilometers).

It chased Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko around the solar system before finally reaching the giant lump of ice and dust on August 6

The spacecraft famously “woke up” in January after a 31-month-long hibernation period to save energy via its solar panels, tweeting: “Hello World.”

Matt Taylor, Rosetta project scientist, said: “Rosetta is trying to answer the very big questions about the history of our Solar System. What were the conditions like at its infancy and how did it evolve? What role did comets play in this evolution? How do comets work?”

The mission is scheduled to end in December 2015, when the comet heads out of the inner Solar System.

The comet will reach its closest distance to the Sun on August 13, 2015, at about 185 million kilometers (114.9 million miles), and between the orbits of Earth and Mars.

Rosetta will follow it throughout the remainder of 2015, as it heads away from the Sun and its activity nears an end, according to the European Space Agency, ESA.

The probe is named after the Rosetta stone, an Egyptian historic monument engraved in three languages, and the probe is named after Philae, an island in Lake Nasser, Egypt.

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