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ESA research module Philae running out of electric power

November 14, 2014, 18:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Energy from solar batteries should be generated, but the research module is in shadow
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MOSCOW, November 14. /TASS/. European Space Agency ESA research module Philae is left to work only for a few hours on the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet surface, chief of Rosetta research project at the French Center of Space Studies Philippe Gaudon said on Friday.

“The battery charge will permit research module Philae to operate only for a few hours. In the future energy from solar batteries should be generated to replace it, but the research module is in shadow,” Gaudon said.

Most apparently the accumulator life designed for 60 hours of module operation will end in about 12 hours, experts said, noting that the spacecraft will cease to operate overnight to Saturday. But in the last hours of operation it acts as a true Earth patriot and lives according to the heroic principle, “I die, but do not surrender.”

At the present moment the research module “is operating constantly” and is transmitting “the whole harvest” of precious research data to the Earth, Philippe Gaudon said. Despite the fact that module Philae happened to be on rocks turning sideways after abortive landing, is already probing the comet nucleus by a radar, making measurements of its magnetic field, transmitting its surface images and is studying molecules near the comet surface.

Even without planned drilling scientists said they hoped that they would receive “at least 70-80% of planned data,” Gaudon noted.

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