Rosetta mission | new pictures of Philae comet landing released - live coverage
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European Space Agency scientists say they’re still trying to locate the Philae lander but it is “stable” and sending data. Stuart Clark is at Esa mission control in Darmstadt.
Rosetta mission’s safe landing gives scientists their first chance to ride a comet and study close up what happens as it gets closer to the sun.
In this new image released by Esa, the circled speck is the Philae lander during its descent. The picture was taken by Rosetta’s OSIRIS wide-angle camera at 14:19:22 GMT on Wednesday.
This image was taken by the ROLIS camera on Philae when it was 40 metres above the surface. It suggests a very loose, dusty surface.
The red cross-hairs mark where Philae first hit the ground before bouncing. This image was taken by the OSIRIS instrument on Rosetta from a distance of 30 kilometres back in September. It is thought that Philae bounced twice before settling on the surface. It may have come to rest at the foot of the cliff surrounding the depression, in the lower right corner of the image.
Jean-Pierre Bibring, however, points out that drilling to take samples for isotopic analysis is critical to the whole scientific purpose of the mission. With time running out, he hopes that this might be given the green light as soon as tomorrow.
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