Hey guys! It’s a little last minute but better late than never!
If you are unaware, there has been a mission on it’s way to orbit a comet and we successfully rendezvoused a few months ago. A landing site was picked and tomorrow we will attempt to land on the comet!
Here’s a link to JPL’s site about the landing and from it you can find the livestream of the landing. Rosetta will release philae at about 1:00 am PST and confirmation of a successful landing will be around 8:00 pst!
Also, Philae, based on what I’ve been able to find, is indeed believed to be stable. They were able to reacquire contact with it about 6:00 a.m. GMT. I’m not sure whether it’s anchored down, I can’t find any info on that. Did find this, though:
It definitely did touch down. They’re just not sure exactly where, at this point.
Apparently, Philae bounced off twice, ending about 1km further about 2h later. It seems to have only 30min of light every 12h, so they will have to be very careful with power consumption. Trying to move it is risky, but they may try to get more sunlight on the panels.
OTOH the antennas are pointing at Rosetta and 8 of 10 instruments are working (the last 2 would require movement and too much energy for now).
Moving it might be risky, too, in that the comet is apparently approaching the sun. If it starts outgassing at a higher rate, the rotation could change, and it might end up in what would become an equally bad position. The risks will be considered very carefully before anything like a move will happen.
tl,dr: It seems Philae landed in a hole, explaining why it gets so little sunlight - which is not enough to make it work once the batteries are depleted. Good thing they put those 72h worth of batteries in it; even if they don’t go for moving it again and hope it lands on a more sunlit place, there will still be science done.