Listen Live
    This artist impression from Dec. 2013 by ESA /ATG medialab , publicly provided by the European Space Agency, ESA, shows Rosetta’s lander Philae (front view) on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

    ‘Hello, Earth! I'm Awake!': Lost Robot Philae Sends Signals From Comet

    © AP Photo / ESA/ATG medialab
    Tech
    Get short URL
    266

    Robotic lander Philae "awoke" after seven months of hibernation and contacted the Earth sending signals from a comet, the European Space Agency (ESA) reported.

    The lab was dropped on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 12, 2014, by its mother ship Rosetta, becoming the first spacecraft to land on a comet. Unfortunately, the probe failed to attach itself to the ice surface and settled in a dark ditch which prevented sunrays from charging Philae's solar panels.

    Nevertheless, the 100kg lab had worked for 60 hours and sent the pictures of its surroundings before running out of energy and going into standby mode.

    Now, the comet has approached the Sun which charged the lander's batteries. The communication lasted for two minutes including 40 seconds of sending useful data.

    Scientists have concluded with a deep sigh of relief that the lab's computer and transmitter survived the extremely cold temperatures. Now they hope that Philae will be able to conduct experiments.

    The purpose of the research is to shed light on the evolution of the Solar System and the emergence of water on the Earth. 

    Philae
    ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA
    Philae

    Comet 67P is heading towards the Sun. The current distance is 205 million km. As the distance shortens, the ice on the comet will melt and Philae will collect very useful information, should it survive.

    Related:

    Ceres' Mysterious Spots: NASA Gets Best Shot of Them Yet
    Black Hole Eruptions Kill Forming Stars With Giant Bubbles
    NASA Reveals Recent Pictures of Saturn's Heavily Cratered Moon Tethys
    NASA Scientists Seek to Unveil Mysteries of Europa's Ocean
    Tags:
    comet, research, Rosetta, Philae, European Space Agency (ESA), Sun, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Space
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik