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Astronomers Say Goodbye to the Philae Comet Lander

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The time has finally come to say goodbye to the Philae lander, the first in history to land on a comet in transit — though with a rough touchdown that ultimately caused an early demise.

“Unfortunately, the probability of Philae re-establishing contact with our team at the DLR Lander Control Center is almost zero, and we will no longer be sending any commands,” said Philae project manager Stephan Ulamec in a German Aerospace Center news release on Friday.

Philae was launched from the Rosetta probe in 2014 to land on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, but a malfunction led to the craft bouncing across

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