I hope this does not come true.
A cliff hanger descended over the Rosetta space mission as fate casts a shadow when an attempt at landing went fatally awry.
It turns out that fragile and complex technology was used instead of robust tried and tested nuclear plant. Fault intolerance.
The solar cells in Rosetta’s solar panels are based on a completely new technology, so-called Low-intensity Low Temperature Cells. Thanks to them, Rosetta is the first space mission to journey beyond the main asteroid belt relying solely on solar cells for power generation. Previous deep-space missions used nuclear RTGs (Radio isotope thermal generators). The new solar cells allow Rosetta to operate over 800 million kilometres from the Sun, where levels of sunlight are only 4% those on Earth.
But they forgot the possibility of or ignored an unknown environment might have cliffhangers waiting. It has landed in shadow.
Philae is receiving about 1.5 hours of illumination during every 12-hour rotation of the comet. [so? not designed for this then?]
This will be insufficient to top up its battery system once the primary charge it had on leaving Rosetta runs out. That was some 60-plus hours.
It means Philae is unlikely to be operating in its present state beyond Saturday. [go into low power mode, what the EU insist the prolls do]