December 13, 2019

2014’s top stories in spaceflight

December 30, 2014

The year ended with a deluge of big news, reminding us of the risks of spaceflight and the thin margins between success and failure on the final frontier. 2014 was also a year of breakthroughs in the exploration of the solar system and the future of human spaceflight.

Scientific riches await Philae comet lander, if it wakes up

December 23, 2014

Optimistic Europe’s hibernating Philae comet lander can be revived, mission controllers plan to try and contact the spacecraft as soon as January as the search narrows for the probe’s final resting place — a site within arm’s reach of pristine ice and organic matter ripe for analysis if the mission gets a new lease on life.

Philae’s “little cousin” heading for asteroid touchdown

December 2, 2014

Weeks after accomplishing the first touchdown on a comet, the team of European scientists that developed the Philae landing craft is awaiting launch of a related robot riding piggyback with Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft to achieve the same feat on an asteroid.

Rosetta camera sees Philae bouncing across comet

November 17, 2014

These incredible images show the breathtaking journey of Rosetta’s Philae lander as it approached and then rebounded from its first touchdown on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014.

Loss of contact with Philae

November 15, 2014

A few moments after the pirouette, battery voltage suddenly plummeted and engineers said the end was near. Trapped between a rock and a dark place beyond its ability to survive, Philae dutifully sent back stored data and even made fresh measurements until finally, just after 7:30 p.m. (EST-5), contact was finally lost.

Researchers race to collect comet data from Philae

November 13, 2014

Comet scientists planned to send up new orders to Europe’s Philae lander Thursday to kick off a second day of research after the probe endured a jumpy touchdown on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

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