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Philae Phones Home: ESA’s Comet Lander Wakes Up From Hibernation

15 Jun 2015, 02:34 UTC
Philae Phones Home: ESA’s Comet Lander Wakes Up From Hibernation
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ESA’s Philae probe has woken up and phoned home after seven months of hibernation on a comet.

The European Space Agency received its first contact from the agency’s Philae lander from the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko since it entered hibernation in November. The signal was received at the agency’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany at 4:28 EDT on June 13.

The Philae lander communicated with its team on Earth for 85 seconds, the first time since the probe entered hibernation in November. Philae communicates with Earth using the Rosetta spacecraft, currently in orbit around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as a relay.

According to ESA, the ground team has analyzed more than 300 data packets received from Philae and based on the information received this wasn’t the first time Philae woke up from hibernation. However, this was the first time the probe was able to reestablish contact with Earth.

“Philae is doing very well: It has an operating temperature of -35ºC and has 24 Watts available,” Philae Project Manager Dr. Stephan Ulamec explained in a statement. “The lander is ready for operations.”

The team is now waiting on its next contact with the lander, which still has more 8,000 data ...

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