What Other Scientists Are Saying About Today's "Life on a Comet" Claim

This morning, several news outlets gave voice to an extraordinary claim: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where the spacecraft Philae awoke last month, could be home to alien life. But extraordinary claims, we all know, require extraordinary evidence. So guess what these morning’s claims were lacking! »7/06/15 2:58pm7/06/15 2:58pm

Rosetta's Lander Has Found Organic Molecules on a Comet 

Philae, the probe that landed on a comet as part of the Rosetta mission, has detected organic molecules in the comet's atmosphere. We don't know exactly what the molecules are yet, but they could hold a key to early life on Earth. Hell, this is a big reason we sent Rosetta all the way to a lonely comet in the first… »11/18/14 2:04pm11/18/14 2:04pm

Rosetta's Lander Is Now Asleep on the Comet, Waiting For a Brighter Sun

Goodnight, Philae, though not, we hope, goodbye. The lander is now in sleep mode, keeping "all instruments and most systems on board shut down." Thankfully, engineers managed to gather all the collected comet data before Philae's batteries were depleted. If we're lucky, it may wake up when it gets closer to the Sun. »11/14/14 9:00pm11/14/14 9:00pm

First comet drilling ever confirmed: 100% successful mission, says ESA

Against all odds, Philae has confirmed that the first ever drilling of a comet has happened! ESA has received telemetry data indicating that the drill worked. They also managed to send ALL data before going into sleep mode. What is Philae going to find? Perhaps the building blocks of life? UPDATE 5. »11/14/14 6:51pm11/14/14 6:51pm

The Last Ditch Attempt to Prolong Philae's Life on a Comet

With Philae's battery dying, the Rosetta mission's ground controllers have decided to make one last go at it. The probe had ended up in the shadow of a cliff after a botched touchdown, unable to gather enough energy with its solar panels. Ground control is going to try rotating Philae so one of its larger panels… »11/14/14 6:02pm11/14/14 6:02pm

Philae's Bad Landing Turns the Rosetta Mission Into a Race Against Time

It was a historic landing on a comet, but unfortunately, not a smooth one. The ESA confirmed that Rosetta's lander, Philae, bounced twice and ultimately ended up sideways in the shadow of a cliff, where its solar panels can't gather enough energy. When Philae's battery dies, the mission will die with it. »11/13/14 3:01pm11/13/14 3:01pm