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Lander ‘Sniffed’ Organic Molecules on Comet’s Surface

The European Space Agency’s Philae comet lander “sniffed” organic molecules before its primary battery ran out and it shut down, German scientists said. They said it was not yet clear whether the molecules included the complex compounds that make up proteins. One of the key aims of the mission is to discover whether carbon-based compounds, the basis of life as we know it, were brought to early Earth by comets.