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The Philae lander has detected organic molecules on the surface of its comet, scientists have confirmed. Carbon-containing "organics" are the basis of life on Earth and may give clues to chemical ingredients delivered to our planet early in its history.
 comet Philae Lander
Images of the Philae probe moments after its initial touchdown have been published by the European Space Agency. There was a nerve-wracking wait after the solar-powered Philae lander bounced a mile back into space following its first contact with comet 67P.
 comet Philae Lander
High-resolution pictures have now been released of the Philae probe in the act of landing on Comet 67P last Wednesday. The images are presented as a mosaic covering the half-hour or so around the "first touchdown" - the probe then bounced to a stop about 1km away.
 comet Philae Lander
European Space Agency controllers will not give up on Philae. They will continue to listen for the little probe in the days ahead, hopeful that it will somehow become active again.
 comet Philae Lander
Philae is a robotic European Space Agency lander that accompanies its Rosetta spacecraft. It is designed to land on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko shortly after arrival in 2014.
 comet Philae Lander
After a historic but awkward comet landing, the robot probe Philae is now stable and sending pictures - but there are concerns about its battery life. The lander bounced twice, initially about 1km back out into space, before settling in the shadow of a cliff, 1km from its intended target site.
 comet Philae Lander
Scientists have now released the first pictures from the lander after separating from its "mothership", Rosetta. The mission will shine a light on some mysteries surrounding these icy relics from the formation of our Solar System.
 comet Rosetta
The Philae lander has attempted to drill into the surface of comet 67/P, amid fears that its battery may die in hours. Researchers at Esa say the instrument is being deployed to its maximum extent despite the risk of toppling the lander.
 comet Philae Lander
The robot probe Philae that made a historic comet landing is now stable after initially failing to attach to the surface, the BBC has learnt. Pictures are coming back from the craft as scientists debate how to proceed.
 comet Philae Lander
The Philae robot, soon to try to land on Comet 67P, has taken another dramatic image of its quarry. The picture is very similar to the one it acquired in mid-September - only this one is much closer, snapped from a distance of just 16km.
 comet Philae Lander
The constant bombardment of billions of tiny particles from the Sun is shaping the Solar System, studies have shown. ... We now know the Solar System doesn't just evolve due to gravitation.

2007-03-07

 comet asteroid solar wind solar system

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