The historic landing of the Phil module on November 12, 2014 attracted the attention of the whole world. But even now, after two and a half months, no one knows exactly where he is, and scientists are still looking for him.
The 220-pound (100 kg) Fila module was equipped with two harpoons, which were designed to help him hold onto the surface of comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko immediately after landing. But the harpoons did not work (which might have been good because of the surprisingly solid surface of the comet, but that’s another story) and Phil jumped from the intended landing site and eventually landed on the edge of the crater protrusion or wall.
OSIRIS Camera made a series of images of Phil's landing module during its descent to the comet
Phil nevertheless achieved all the mission's main goals, transferring data from each of his tools, but his batteries, which are solar panels, are located in the shadow of the ledge. The location of the module, which is now in hibernation, remains a mystery, and the researchers are reviewing the Rosette data to determine where the module is located. At the moment, a visual hunt is being conducted using a high-resolution image taken with an Osiris camera mounted aboard the Rosetta.
Although there is a general idea of the area in which it can be located, the descent vehicle has not yet been found.
OSIRIS made two images of the comet 67P, showing Phil's current search area.
Whether we accept Phil's signal again, depends on how much the lighting on the solar panels changes, while the comet approaches the Sun. Fillets require a battery up to about 17 W to wake up and send a signal to the Rosetta, which must also be located in the correct position to receive the signal.
Mission engineers still hope this and suggest that this may happen as early as May.