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Rosetta: concerns for comet lander after uneven landing

Philae heading for the comet
After a historic but awkward comet landing, the robot probe Philae is now stable and sending pictures - but there are concerns about its battery life.
After two bounces, the first one about 1km back out into space, the lander settled in the shadow of a cliff, 1km from its target site.
It may be problematic to get enough sunlight to charge its batteries.
Launched in 2004, the European Space Agency (Esa) mission hopes to learn about the origins of our Solar System.
It has already sent back the first images ever taken on the surface of a comet.
Esa's Rosetta satellite carried Philae on a 10-year, 6.4 billion-km (4bn-mile) journey to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which reached its climax on Wednesday.
After showing an image that indicates Philae's location - on the far side of a large crater that was considered but rejected as a landing site - the head of the lander team Dr Stephan Ulamec said: "We could be somewhere in the rim of this crater, which could explain this bizarre… orientation that you have seen."
Figuring out the orientation and location is a difficult task, Dr Ulamec said.
"I can't really give you much more than you interpret yourself from looking at these beautiful images."
But the team is continuing to receive "great data" from several different instruments on board Philae.
It may be possible to reconfigure Philae's landing gear and "hop" to a new location, but Dr Ulamec said there may not be enough time to do the analysis required for such a risky strategy.
"There is a limited amount of battery power there and the solar panels are not really illuminated, so we don't know precisely how long it's going to last," said Rosetta mission manager Dr Fred Jansen.
The robot probe, the size of a washing machine, was dropped from the Rosetta satellite on Wednesday and spent seven hours travelling down to the icy body.


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