Scientists stop calling out to comet lander as hope fades

BERLIN - European scientists say they have stopped sending commands to the Philae space probe, which became the first to touch down on a comet more than a year ago.

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The German Aerospace Center says the chances of re-establishing contact with Philae are "almost zero" and any response from the lander would be "very surprising."

Scientists last made contact with the lander July 9, but efforts since then have failed. Before it stopped communicating, Philae sent back reams of data about 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that scientists will spend years analyzing.

The mother craft Rosetta will continue to carry out scientific measurements in orbit around comet 67P until September, when it will be steered to land on the surface as well.


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