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Sunday, November 16, 2014

After a successfully landing on the comet, now Philae is dying

Previously ESA's robotic lander, Philae has successfully made history by landing on the comet 67P/CG on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. But now, the robot which initially to investigate the composition of the comet was in danger of dying due to running out of power.

The ESA's Rosetta spacecraft.  
(Picture from:  http://en.wikipedia.org/)
Philae is part of the Rosetta spacecraft mission managed by the European Space Agency (ESA). Rosetta and Philae been launched in 2004 and reached the orbit of comet 67P/CG on August 2014.

ESA states, that Philae began to separate from the Rosetta spacecraft, at 16:03 Western Indonesian Time. The robot which has a size of a washing machine was then travelled of about seven hours to the surface of comet 67P/CG.

According to ESA analysis reveal, that Philae has reached the surface of the comet at 23:33 Western Indonesian Time. However, the ESA's data is then record there were two landing process, on Thursday, November 13, 2014 ie at 00:26 and 00:33 Western Indonesian Time.
Rosetta spacecraft mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in an artist's illustration. (Picture from: http://davidpiercestudio.com/)
Based on the analysis later, it is known that the instruments are functioning to attached the robot on the comet surface did not work either. In effect, after the first landing, Philae was bouncing twice.
The Philae's location landed last time on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 compared to the supposed landing site. Philae had landed at the Agilkia site but then bounced. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1x3ScOP)
The problem arises because of the location of Philae now about 1 kilometer from the Site-J or Agilkia, which is the initial landing target. There, the robot that rely on solar panels for fulfillment its power was covered by a small cliff so unable to harvest sunlight.

After the first time to send the comet photos directly from its surface, Philae's battery power is now threatened disappearing. And 1.5 hours battery charging process before landing just enough to live as long as 60 hours.
The science instruments of Rosetta's Philae. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1x3ScOP)
As reported by the BBC on Thursday, that the Philae battery can only to live until Saturday afternoon. If do not get sunlight, then the robot which is part of the $1.6 billion mission is going to die. ESA are now being racked the brain to solve this problem. However, ESA wants the Philae mission which is scheduled until March 2015 remain running smoothly.
There is an alternative, the Philae given the command to jump to the rich sunlight area. Another plan, Philae directly drills on the comet surface to obtain samples even though consequently the batteries are depleted and the robot becomes inactive. Currently ESA are still considering the options. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | BBC]
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