Ride Along With The Philae Lander As It Crashes Into A Comet
Look out beloooow
The European Space Agency has just released a slew of new images from Philae, the little lander that was supposed to touch down on a comet earlier this year. But the history-making moment didn’t go quite as planned. After failing to anchor into Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the spacecraft bounced around a few times until finally skidding to a halt on the rim of a crater. The Rosetta mission team hasn’t managed to get a stable communication link with the battered lander.
The images from its initial descent, which we’ve combined into a gif, were snapped approximately every ten seconds. The first shows Philae’s view from a distance of almost two miles, and the last from a distance of about 30 feet. For a size reference, the big boulder in a few of the images measures 16 feet high.
Philae did manage to conduct some science experiments, despite its rocky (no pun intended) landing. It even managed to detect organic molecules before entering a long hiberation.