Saturday, November 15, 2014

Philae Lander Asleep



I have bad news to share.  The successful landing of the Philae Lander on comet 67P is having a huge setback. The lander is in a location where there isn't much sunlight.  Because of this, the probe has gone into "idle" mode or sleep mode.  It may be a long while until scientists at the European Space Agency learn anything more.

The probe did send some data yesterday, but then stopped responding.  This is unfortunate indeed and puts a "wrench" in the search for knowledge regarding these celestial bodies which have been a big part of man's history and experience on Earth.  We can only hope that the comet will move to a location where sunlight from our Sun can hit the solar panels on Philae and recharge its batteries.  Perhaps this is a good time to study how to obtain energy from cosmic radiation.  The universe is full of this stuff which is energy.  If we can find a way to convert it into electrical energy so it can charge batteries on probes, then situations like what Philae is experiencing now will never occur.  Probes will have an unlimited supply of energy around itself from which to recharge its battery cells.












Source:

http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/11/15/our-landers-asleep/

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/nov/14/philae-comet-lander-drills-hammers-rosetta

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30058176


1 comment:

  1. The good news is that last night ESA said they got most or all of the data from the first round of experiments conducted by the Philae lander. It hadn't, at that point, been analyzed - but I'm hopeful that we'll get useful information.

    Meanwhile, the Rosetta orbiter is, the last I heard, still in good working order: collecting and sending data.

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