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After a bounce, Rosetta's Philae lander serves up cometary surprises

After a bounce, Rosetta's Philae lander serves up cometary surprises

Scientists with the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission may have had a scare when the Philae lander bounced off of the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, but the bumpy touchdown actually had a silver lining: It allowed them to take measurements in two separate spots instead of one. Now, in a suite of papers published in the journal Science, Philae researchers have started to sketch out the comet’s physical and chemical profile -- that one spot is covered in fluffy, clumpy sediments while another is caked in a hard crust; that the comet’s head is porous but fairly uniform in composition; and that there are a number of organic molecules, including four that...

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