When the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Philae lander plopped onto a comet late last year it was a big deal. A really big deal.
Philae marked not only a great technical achievement for ESA—it’s very hard to land a spacecraft on a rock that is hurtling through space—but a boon to those of us who hope to avoid death by asteroid. The more we know about comets, the more we know about how to prevent one from hurtling into us in the future. An unlikely scenario in the near-term, but one that is certainly not unprecedented (hi, dinosaurs).
[img attachment=”150427″ caption=”Comet 67P/C-G, where Philae lives.” credit=”ESA” size=”full” align=”aligncenter” linkto=”none” alt=”Measuring_Comet_67P_C-G_node_full_image_2″]
So we all cheered for Philae, and we all mourned when, a few days later, Philae stopped telling us what it was up to. The lander’s battery had died. We thought it was gone forever.
But on Sunday, Philae…
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