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Comet lander probe falls silent

The Philae comet lander has fallen silent, European scientists said yesterday, raising fears that it has moved again on its new home millions of miles from Earth.

The fridge-sized robotic lab last made contact on July 9, and efforts to reach it again have so far failed. The lander - the first mission to land on a comet - initially set down last November in a position too shadowy to power its solar panels. It woke up in June as the comet moved closer to the sun, but may now have shifted again, possibly due to a gas emission.