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Philae's anatomy: the gadgets of the Rosetta comet mission


Philae's anatomy: the gadgets of the Rosetta comet mission

The Philae robot sent by the European Space Agency to land on the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet is a compact body of technology.

If all goes according to plan its captors and sensors will relay all the Rosetta data that, it is hoped, will improve our understanding of the origins of life on Earth and other scientific information of incalculable value.

Around one-metre cubed, Philae weighs close to 100 kilos and has flexible ‘legs’ equipped with drills designed to penetrate the surface of the comet, although whether or not this will be possible is one of the ‘known unknowns’ of the mission.

Its anchors house sensors that will study the composition of the comet, its molecular structure and any mechanical or electromagnetic waves.

Explore our interactive graphic to see the various gizmos and gadgets at Philae’s disposal.

And you can be among the first to discover Philae’s findings by following its very own Twitter account @ESA_Rosetta

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[As it happened] Rosetta's Philae lands on comet 67P