Philae lander wakes up and calls home – – Our News, Your Views

Philae lander wakes up and calls home


According to the European Space Agency, the Philae probe has woken up out of hibernation mode and has contacted home.

Philae detached from its mothership, Rosetta, and landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last November after completing a journey of over 300 million miles through space.

However, a bad stroke of luck while landing saw the probe bounce off the comet and touched down again at an awkward angle, and in the shade of an outcropping. Because of this, the solar panels could not be properly deployed and the probe’s battery ran flat in 60 hours.

Philae’s host has now moved closer to the Sun though, and the probe’s panels have been able to pick up enough sunlight to power up again.

According to sources, the probe communicated with Earth for 85 seconds yesterday, beaming down a small amount of data. It is believed that the lander’s memory contains about 8,000 additional data packets which mission control hopes it will be able to retrieve soon.

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