Comet Probe Philae Runs Out Of Power

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The first human probe to land on a comet went dark Friday night while sending data back to the European Space Agency.

In an online statement, the head of operations for the probe said, “this machine performed magnificently under tough conditions, and we can be fully proud of the incredible scientific success Philae has delivered.”

The probe lost power after bouncing into a shady area of the comet during its landing. Before losing power, the Philae accomplished about 80% of its scheduled observations.

Philae could soon regain power if its solar panels are able to pick up enough sunlight.

See the Rosetta Spacecraft's Best Photos of Comet 67P

ROLIS's (Rosetta Lander Imaging System) first photo of Comet 67P, taken as Philae lander approached its touchdown on the comet's surface.
This image shows comet 67P/CG and was acquired by the ROLIS instrument on the Philae lander during descent on Nov. 12, 2014, 14:38:41 UT from a distance of approximately 3 km from the surface.ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS/DLR/H
Selfie spacecraft and comet
A 'selfie' composite image from a camera on the Rosetta mission’s Philae comet lander shows Comet 67P.ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM
The comet on Oct. 28, 2014.
Comet 67P on Oct. 28, 2014.ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM
The comet in a photo released on Aug. 6, 2014.
Comet 67P in a photo released on Aug. 6, 2014.ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM
The comet on Sept. 26, 2014.
Comet 67P on Sept. 26, 2014.ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM
The comet on Oct. 18, 2014
Comet 67P on Oct. 18, 2014ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM
The comet on Nov. 4, 2014.
Comet 67P on Nov. 4, 2014.ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM
The comet on Aug. 3, 2014.
Comet 67P on Aug. 3, 2014.ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

 

 

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