JUN 14, 2015 09:03 AM PDT

Philae Comet Lander Heard From for the First Time in 7 Months

For the first time in seven long months, the Philae lander from the European Space Agency (ESA) has woken up and sent a signal to Earth.

Philae has been dormant at its landing site for 7 months and has finally awoken.

Last November, the Philae landed on a comet known as 67P, thanks to the help of the Rosetta carrier ship. But a few days in to the exploration, the lander ran out of power and had to power off.

Fortunately however, the lander is equipped with solar panels capable of re-charging the built-in battery, so for scientists, it's just a matter of waiting and being patient for the lander to soak enough power from the sun.

It was unknown when exactly the Philae would capture enough sunlight to be able to power back on again, but a surprise Saturday morning left scientists with a signal lasting approximately 85 seconds that was relayed to Rosetta from Philae.

"I'm not really surprised it happened, but if you wait for several months and then suddenly in the middle of the night you get a call saying 'we have a signal from Philae,' it's exciting," project manager Stephan Ulamec said in a comment. "We're very happy."

The signal carried good news too; it told scientists that the lander was "doing well" and all systems were working as expected. About 300 packets were received.

"Philae is doing very well: It has an operating temperature of -35ºC and has 24 Watts available," Ulamec continued. "The lander is ready for operations."

With the current charge from the Sun, and all of the light the lander is expected to get in coming months, it is expected that Philae is said to be operational until at least this October, which should provide scientists with enough time to search for discoveries and some answers to unanswered questions.

Scientists are going to be taking full advantage of the current activity of the comet, which is said to be in its most active phase right now, and it should be interesting to see what they can uncover.



Source: BBC

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 18, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 18, 2019
NASA Will Send a Drone to Titan in Search of Alien Life
Researchers have been teasing the concept of sending a life-sniffing drone to Saturn’s moon Titan for what seems like forever, and now, it appears th...
OCT 18, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 18, 2019
SpaceX Lost Contact With 3 of its Starlink Internet Satellites
At the end of May, SpaceX launched a payload comprising of 60 Starlink internet satellites into space to develop the backbone for what the company envision...
OCT 18, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 18, 2019
SpaceX Resupplies the International Space Station
SpaceX launched another resupply mission for the International Space Station on Thursday, subtly named CRS-18, coinciding with the same day that the commer...
OCT 18, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 18, 2019
How NASA's Dragonfly Mission Will Teach Us More About Titan
If you haven’t already heard, NASA is planning to launch a new mission dubbed Project Dragonfly, which will study Saturn’s moon Titan to learn...
OCT 18, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 18, 2019
Watch SpaceX Launch a Used Falcon 9 for the Third and Final Time
SpaceX launched one of its tried and true Falcon 9 rockets on Tuesday in a mission that the commercial space company dubbed AMOS-17. The rocket’s nin...
OCT 18, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 18, 2019
Woman-Only Spacewalk Will Transpire October 21st, NASA Says
NASA was expected to orchestrate the world’s first all-female spacewalk at the International Space Station earlier this year, but was unfortunately u...
Loading Comments...