Rosetta captures Phil's travel on a comet

Rosetta captures Phil's travel on a comet

A camera mounted aboard the Rosette spacecraft took pictures of the adventurous journey of Phil's landing module on the body of a comet.

The Rosetta spacecraft, which in August entered the orbit of comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko, sent the Phil module into a free seven-hour fall for an independent scientific mission, unique in the history of space exploration.

A camera mounted on board the Rosette spacecraft, which at that moment was 10 miles above the comet's surface, took a photograph of Phil's descent during an unexpected rebound and a slow drift to the east.

"If you look from left to right, you can see how Phil is first removed from the comet, and later lands," the European Space Agency said in a press release. "The image obtained after landing at 15:43 GMT confirms that the descent vehicle was moving east ... at a speed of about 0.5 m / s (1.6 feet per second)." Phil's final landing place is unknown, but as the images show, he arrived at 5:32 GMT.

"Rosetta continues to search for the Phil module, which is located somewhere on the dark side of the comet," said Gerhard Schwem, program director at NASA's Scientific Advisory Committee, who recently resigned.

Phil was stuck in the shadows, and he had enough of his own battery for 57 jobs without the possibility of recharging his solar panels.

"But there is hope that as the comet approaches the Sun, we may be able to charge the batteries. Rosetta continues to look for the landing module ... so the story is not over yet," added Shveem.

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