News

Philae found! Rosetta’s lander wedged in cometary crevice

5 September 2016 Astronomy Now

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. The images were taken on 2 September by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera as the orbiter came within 2.7 kilometres of the comet’s surface.

Top Stories 2015

No. 9 Rosetta rides with its comet

1 January 2016 Keith Cooper

While 2014 was the year the Rosetta spacecraft celebrated making it into orbit around a comet, 2015 was the year it got down to some serious hard work. Its comet, with the tongue-twisting name 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, made its closest approach (186 million kilometres) to the Sun, a period known as perihelion when the comet would be expected to be at its most active. Rosetta was there to witness this.

News

Philae’s descent to comet 67P

3 August 2015 Astronomy Now

Recently released images compiled into a movie show the descent of the European Space Agency’s Philae lander to its first touchdown site, Agilkia, on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014. The image sequence starts just over two miles from the comet, and the final image is from just 9 metres above the landing site.

News

New contact with intractable comet lander

11 July 2015 Stephen Clark

Europe’s Rosetta comet probe re-established momentary contact with the Philae lander late Thursday, renewing hopes of starting up the craft’s research instruments after two weeks of radio silence dampened the moods of scientists.

News

Engineers seek to stabilise radio link with comet lander

16 June 2015 Stephen Clark

Emboldened by renewed contact with Europe’s comet lander, engineers are repositioning the mission’s Rosetta mothership this week to establish a reliable a communications link with the dishwasher-sized Philae landing craft, a prerequisite for resuming a science campaign abbreviated by a power shortfall last year.

News

Rosetta keeps its distance from awakening comet

13 April 2015 Stephen Clark

Mission controllers are rethinking a series of close-up comet flybys planned for Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft after a haze of dust around the comet’s central nucleus led to navigation errors during a close encounter in late March.