Sleep well Philae

Philae is indeed going to sleep. No hop, no sun shining on the solar panels.

Philae Lander @Philae2014 ·1 hour ago
.@ESA_Rosetta I’m feeling a bit tired, did you get all my data? I might take a nap… #CometLanding

Thank you, @ESA_Rosetta! I did it! I became the first spacecraft to land on a comet & study it! But it’s not over yet… #CometLanding

My #lifeonacomet has just begun @ESA_Rosetta. I’ll tell you more about my new home, comet #67P soon… zzzzz #CometLanding

Now cut that out. Philae isn’t Bambi’s mother.

Have a nice nap Philae.

But before those three, there was this:

My controlroom after a more than 100% successful #CometLanding (watch the party in the background)

Embedded image permalink

It’s exciting to be human today.


  1. Bernard Bumner says

    Collaboration is the real triumph of humanity. This achievement is truly magnificent.

    Closer to home: type 3 poliovirus may have been eradicated in the wild.

  2. says

    Collaboration combined with the ability to take on projects that span years or even decades with no certainty of success. There’s just nothing quite like watching a roomful of engineers waiting to see if their 5 or 10 years of work on something that is now millions of miles away is going to function or fizzle…and then erupt when it functions.

  3. lpetrich says

    But at least Philae accomplished its primary mission and radioed back the data that it found. It may take a while for the Philae team members to analyze all that data, however.

  4. moarscienceplz says

    I find it interesting how many people have been enthralled by this mission. After all, it’s just a small box landing on an ice block that no human will probably ever touch. And here in the USA,where we usually have a bad case of N.I.H. (if it was Not Invented Here, it’ not worth much), I think it’s even more surprising.
    Maybe ordinary people are indeed marveling at the technical difficulties overcome and the chance to learn new things. I sure hope so.

  5. says

    It’s just a small box loaded with scientific instrumentation that can send data back to scientists on earth landing on an ice block (looks more like a bumpy rock, to me) that is millions of km away.

    Nothing “just” about it. 🙂

  6. Hj Hornbeck says

    I… I think there’s something in my eye.

    Emily Lakdawalla has a long and excellent farewell:

    Daniel Scuka, ESA’s Senior Editor for Spacecraft Operations came down to where I was writing, and asked me if I’d be interested in returning to ESOC in the evening to watch with the ESA web team during what might be Philae’s final contact with Earth. “Really?” I asked. I made eye contact with Steven Young across the table, and asked Daniel, “Can he come too?”

    In the end it was three of us serving as social media eyewitnesses to the end of Philae, with Chris Lintott joining too, unaccompanied by his usual camera crew. [….]

    It was theoretically possible that the new solar panel position could even allow Philae to wake tomorrow after sunrise, though nobody really seemed to expect that to happen. If the solar power situation has improved, it will probably take several days of charging to achieve wakeup. So Rosetta will watch. But watching won’t prevent Rosetta from doing its science mission.

    “We are privileged,” Montagnon said a little bit later, “to have seen Philae going to sleep ‘live.’”

    I and Steven and Chris were tweeting all this, and Tweetdeck on my computer looked like a slot machine, the way notifications and retweets were spinning by. The entire world was watching through us, to Philae, to keep it company as it passed into slumber. I showed this to [flight director] Elsa Montagnon, and she was surprised and touched. The other engineers in mission control center also seemed surprised to hear how many people were following along.

  7. Lady Mondegreen (aka Stacy) says

    Collaboration is the real triumph of humanity.

    It is. Sorry for going off topic and into politics, but…nothing refutes Objectivism like science.

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