Concern about Philae's fate as lander sends back first image from comet




I gather that the worst aspect of where they’ve ended up is that they’re very much in the shade and are getting only 1.5 hours of solar power per day (not sure if that’s per earth day or per comet rotation), which is nowhere near enough to charge the batteries, so they’re looking at days of science from the lander, instead of months like they planned.


I don’t understand why they designed a lander that could only be oriented 1 way up, and then beyond that, sending it to a rocky, unpredictable, weird landscape with boulders, slopes and an unknown surface. Wouldn’t you want to send a beach ball with a gimbal inside it so that no matter how it landed it would always be “up”?


Hell, the lander bounced enough as it was, and you want it to be inside a beach ball?

(Which also reminds me of the awesome Beagle 2 probe).

I just hope the xkcd image gets updated.


May be they were not expecting such success …


They aimed it to land in a flat place. It was supposed to stick its landing and not bounce. All three of the systems that were supposed to ensure that it stuck its landing (harpoons, ice screws, compressed nitrogen down-thruster) failed to work, and it bounced away from the flat place they’d chosen.


So is the lander now stuck between a rock and a hard place?


That’s a hell of a lot of suppose to’s for 679,938,234,222,103 quintillion googolplex miles away.


Guess what? Rocket science really is hard.


Mars is hard, but a comet is orders of magnitude harder.



Maybe Lifecall can help



I’ve fallen, and I cant get up.


It could all be for the good. When the Xenomorph walks by, the harpoon might suddenly start working and fire a hole in it.


That’s just going to make it angry.

  • Spent years in a single-minded quest pursuing an elusive leviathan
  • One leg out of commission
  • Botched harpooning attempt
  • Currently helpless as it is being dragged into the abyss by the very prey it hunted



what episode is that from?


Isn’t it from one of the films?


Quite possibly. I’ve not seen Cushing as Dr Who.
Now, if I was a real fan, I would advance an opinion, adding
you can tell by some of the angles

Also, this image from the film shows something that could be the pit