Europe finally found its comet-conquering Philae probe, after a year and a half hunt

philae found after seven months philaelander2
Philae, comet, ESA, found, search European Space Agency
It’s alive! Nearly seven months after it was given up as lost for good, the Philae probe has made its comeback in truly spectacular fashion. The famous probe, which made history as the first to ever land on a comet, was dismissed as lost when it had trouble getting enough sunlight to charge its batteries. But now, we know where it is, and recovery has never looked so sweet.

As the European Space Agency noted, new photos of the Philae probe were taken on September 2 “by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera as the orbiter came within 2.7 km of the surface and clearly show the main body of the lander, along with two of its three legs.” It’s been a long time since the human race has been capable of making contact with Philae, following its landing on November 12, 2014.

“With only a month left of the Rosetta mission, we are so happy to have finally imaged Philae, and to see it in such amazing detail,” said Cecilia Tubiana of the Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS), who was one of the first to see the images when they were downloaded this past weekend.

For the last several months, the Philae was given up as lost, as it hadn’t landed where intended. “Instead of landing on a flat spot as planned, it bounced and flew for another two hours, ending up … somewhere,” NPR science correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce said. “Controllers could talk to it, but its exact whereabouts remained unknown.”

But now, hope has been restored. “This remarkable discovery comes at the end of a long, painstaking search,” Patrick Martin, ESA’s Rosetta Mission Manager, says in a blog post regarding the discovery. “We were beginning to think that Philae would remain lost forever. It is incredible we have captured this at the final hour.”

The ESA promises that further information will soon be made available, but for now, everyone is just celebrating Philae’s discovery.

Gaming

Why are game studios run like sweat shops? The human toll of ‘crunch time’

After the revelation of 100-hour work weeks in Red Dead Redemption 2’s development, we spoke with a number of developers about what it’s like to work in crunch culture in the game industry.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games out right now

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Movies & TV

Peter Dinklage gets cryptic about two 'Game of Thrones' characters' fates

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable -- if you don't mind spoilers.
Emerging Tech

Death from above? How we’re preparing for a future filled with weaponized drones

Drones are beginning to enable everything from search & rescue, to the delivery of medicines to hard-to-reach places. But they are also being used as cheap, and deadly flying bombs. How can we defend ourselves?
Emerging Tech

Behind the unsettling sci-fi landscapes of Simon Stalenhag’s ‘Electric State’

The narrative artbook follows the journey of a young traveler, Michelle, and her robot, Skip, as they head west to the Pacific coast through an alternative America torn apart by civil war and the trappings of military-grade virtual reality.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Get your head in the clouds with the best vaporizers for flower and concentrates

Why combust dead plant matter when you could vaporize the good stuff and leave the leaves behind? Here's a rundown of the best vaporizers money can buy, no matter what your style is.
Emerging Tech

Get one of the best cheap drones you can buy, and cry less when you crash

Want to get in on all this hot drone action, but don't want to spend half a paycheck to make it happen? There are actually lots of feature-packed budget options. Check out this list of the best drones under $500.
Emerging Tech

Here are the best (and least likely to explode) hoverboards you can buy

With widespread reports of cheap, knock-off Chinese hoverboards exploding, these self-balancing scooters may be getting a rough reputation. They're not all bad, though. Ride in style with our picks for the best -- and safest -- hoverboards
Product Review

Parrot Anafi drone review

It’s definitely not perfect, and there are a few little things that could be improved, but even so, Anafi is unquestionably the best drone that Parrot has ever made.
Emerging Tech

Looking for a good read? Here are the best, most eye-opening books about tech

Sometimes it's sensible to put down the gadgets and pick up a good old-fashioned book -- to read about the latest gadgets, of course. Here are the tech books you need to check out.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX Starlink: Here’s everything you need to know

SpaceX Starlink is the name of Elon Musk's ambitious plan to blanket the globe with high speed broadband internet via a network of satellites. Here's everything you need to know about it
Emerging Tech

Flying food: Uber has set a target date to use drones for meal delivery

Uber is better known for transporting people around town, but it also has a growing meal-delivery business called UberEats. It currently uses drivers and cyclists to deliver the food, but also has plans to use drones.