Philae lander shrouded in darkness for most of the day after bouncy comet landing

It turns out that landing on a comet moving at 84,000 miles per hour is not without its potential pitfalls, and the Philae lander appears to have ended up in something close to an actual pit. In a mission update today, the European Space Agency said that early telemetry data and photos from the lander show that Philae came to a stop at the foot of a large cliff, something that poses problems for harvesting much-needed solar energy for the remainder of its mission. Agency officials said that the current position is only expected to get 1.5 hours of sunlight every 12 hour rotation on the comet, which is less than half of what was originally planned. The lander’s main battery cell is rated for 64 hours before the system relies on solar…

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