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Tech

Found in space: Europe's missing comet probe

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Tech

Found in space: Europe's missing comet probe

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COMING UP:Found in space: Europe's missing comet probe

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00:00:00
>> No longer lost in space. Europe's missing Philae probe located, its legs just visible wedged in dark crack on the comet where it landed. Philae touched down on the rock in late 2014 but failed to lock on to the surface. This computer simulation shows how it bounced, then came down in an unknown location.
00:00:20
The landing spot was in shadow,, meaning it lost power to its solar panels. But it did some good signs before the batteries run out analyzing the surface of comet 67P. Now it's been spotted in pictures taken by its orbiting Rosetta mothership. Scientists say it wasn't easy to find the missing lander.
00:00:38
>> All the time that the orbiter was over flying the region where the lander was, it was also really badly illuminated. So all of this stuff meant that it has been very, very tricky. Because effectively, the lander is in a big ditch, in a hole, or a pocket as being described.
00:00:53
And the sun doesn't shine there when we overflow with the orbiter in the current trajectory that's designed to get us close. So, we have made some subtle adjustments to the way that we were imaging them to bring out light in the dark and ultimately we've got a picture in the pocket.
00:01:10
>> The discovery comes just in time. At the end of the month, Rosetta will be crashed into the comet. Scientistss hoping to gather super close images before it bites the dust. That will end its 12 year space odyssey and leave Philae to ride the comet back into deep space.