Rosetta’s Philae Lander Detects Organic Molecules on Comet
Tom Dummer, Special to the Live Wire
For the last ten years, the Philae crossed millions of miles in space as it bounced over the surface of a comet and returned to the heaps of data … and then suddenly it fades away.
The robotic lander, which made history earlier this month, has lost its power. Philae was on a mission to explore Comet 67P but became unable to recharge its batteries when it got stuck in the shadow of a cliff. It was then shut down on November 14, 2014.
A tweet from the official Philae Lander account said “I’ll tell you more about my new home, comet 67P soon… zzzzz.” According to The European Space Agency, it is still uncertain whether or not Philae can recover and continue its mission in the near future.
Although Philae’s mission may have been put on hold, the probe was still able to analyze surface samples of the comet and relay the information back to Earth. According to Dr. Fred Goesmann, COSAC’s (Philae’s Cometary Sampling and Composition System) principal investigator, he and his team are still trying to interpret the results. So far, they have released that there are carbon based organic molecules present on Comet 67P.
This is a revolutionary breakthrough that could prove the theory that comets brought life to Earth.