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Philae probe finds 'organic molecules' on comet

Scientists working on data collected the Philae probe have said that during a drill for a soil sample the Philae probe was able to "sniff" organic molecules.

Earlier, incredible images showed the moment the Philae probe dropped from its satellite and first landed on Comet 67P five days ago.

The high-resolution shots, taken by the Rosetta satellite's narrow-angle camera, capture the 30 minutes since the probe touched down on the comet's surface.

At the moment scientists have lost contact with the probe after its batteries died. It will only wake up if enough sunlight recharges its solar panels.

But the mission is still deemed a success as it is the first spacecraft to ever land on a comet.

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Facts and figures behind the Rosetta comet mission

The view as the Philae lander approached the surface of comet 67P. Credit: European Space Agency

The team in charge of the Rosetta mission has made history by completing the first landing of a robotic spacecraft on a comet.

Here are the key facts and figures behind the touchdown:

  • Rosetta mission cost: close to £1.1 billion, including the Philae lander's cost of £173 million
  • Mission length so far: 10 years
  • Philae distance from home: 316 million miles
  • Time taken for news to reach Earth: 28 minutes, 20 seconds
  • Philae weight: 100 kilograms
  • Comet 67P weight: 10 billion tonnes
  • Number of names suggested for landing site: 8,000 (the name chosen was Agilkia)
  • Number of countries behind the comet landing: 14
  • Announcement retweets: 28,000 in first hour

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