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Philae probe may come off comet at any moment

November 14, 2014, 15:50 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG YEKATERINBURG November, 14. /TASS
The gravitation of the comet is weak, and Philae may come off because of any minor movement, a scientist at the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Zakharov said
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© ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

YEKATERINBURG, November 14. /TASS/. Russian scientists say the exploration probe Philae may come off the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet at any moment, as it has not firmly settled on the surface.

The probe weighs about three grams on the comet (with its earth weight of about 100 kilograms).

The gravitation of the comet is weak, and Philae may come off because of any minor movement, a scientist at the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Zakharov, said in an interview to TASS on Friday.

The gravitation is weak because the comet is small with its diameter is no more than three kilometers.

The comet revolves around the Sun in a period of about 6.5 years. It is flying in space at a speed of 18 km/sec.

Philae carried by the European spacecraft Rosetta safely landed on the comet on November 12 after a ten-year journey of almost 6.5 billion kilometers in space.

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