3 children attempt to build new comet lander to reboot Philae

16 Dec 2014

Three children are attempting to build a new comet landing craft from scratch, to send to comet 67P and rescue the Philae probe from its forced hibernation.

OK, so maybe the three Catalan children are a little young to be pulling off a task that the European Space Agency (ESA) would need to raise another €1bn to achieve, but from a STEM perspective, Philae’s landing on the comet made an impression on the general public.

Despite confirmation that Philae landed on comet 67P’s surface on 12 November, it was later found Philae may have bounced and landed on its side, obscuring the solar panels needed to keep the lander sending data back to Earth.

While the probe sent back initial scientific information about the comet, Philae has now descended into a forced hibernation with no access to the sun’s energy, but there are prospects that the new year will see Philae come back to life and once again transmit information to Earth.

Watch the three kids’ response to the Philae rescue challenge here:

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic