No new contact with comet lander, scientists say

By: |
Published: July 29, 2015 11:01:26 PM

European scientists said on Wednesday that had once again failed to make contact with the Philae comet lander, which has struggled to maintain a reliable communication link since coming back to life last month.

European scientists said on Wednesday that had once again failed to make contact with the Philae comet lander, which has struggled to maintain a reliable communication link since coming back to life last month.

The fridge-sized robotic lab, which landed on a comet called 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November in an historic first, last made contact via the Rosetta orbiter on July 9.

The lander initially bounced away from its intended landing place upon reaching the comet and settled in the shadows where there was not enough sunlight to power its solar panels.

But with the comet approaching the sun, Philae woke up last month, stirring hopes that more information could be gleaned from the surface of comet using the lander’s drilling and measuring tools.

Scientists said last week they fear the lander may have shifted position again, hampering communication efforts.

Attempts to contact Philae will now take a break for two weeks while Rosetta explores the southern side of the comet with its own instruments, Koen Guerts from the lander control team at the DLR German Aerospace Center said in a video message.

“In about two weeks, Rosetta will be flying back north again and communication could be possible,” Guerts said.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.