|Philae lander – SP9507|
After a 10-year journey across four billion miles, the Rosetta satellite launched by the European Space Agency was able to carry the Philae robotic probe to its ultimate destination: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It took about seven hours after being dropped from the Rosetta satellite for the probe to reach the comet surface. However after its first landing, Philae bounced hundreds of meters and remained in flight for nearly two hours as the comet rotated beneath it. The probe successfully landed by its third attempt, albeit far off from the intended landing zone.
Challenges may arise for ensuring the probe is securely fastened to the comet surface and receives enough sunlight for its solar panels. Nevertheless, scientists are ecstatic over the data and photographs already collected from the expedition to the four billion year old comet. The information gathered would hopefully shed more light onto the formation of our solar system and possibly the origins of life on our planet.
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