First spacecraft to ever land on a comet finally 'wakes up'

Philae Comet Lander Phones Home After Seven-Month Nap


Meet Philae, the European Space Agency's probe that just woke up from seven months in hibernation.

Philae is the first spacecraft ever to land on a comet. Although it reached the surface of Comet 67P via its mothership Rosetta last November, it only worked for about 60 hours before its battery died.

But more than six months later, Philae finally has recharged itself and made contact for 85 seconds today, the first time the ESA has heard from it since November. As of now, the spacecraft is resting up before it starts to transmit groundbreaking information back to Earth.

According to ESA's blog, over 300 data packets have been analyzed by the teams at the Lander Control Center at the German Aerospace Center. But Philae has the capability of analyzing over 8,000 packets in its mass memory, so more exciting news is yet to come.

And if its tweets are any indication, Philae is more than just a comet lander, it's also a bit of a comic.

Philae Comet Lander
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First spacecraft to ever land on a comet finally 'wakes up'
Incredible news! My lander Philae is awake!
Hello Earth! Can you hear me? #WakeUpPhilae
Hello @ESA_Rosetta! I'm awake! How long have I been asleep? #Lifeonacomet
So happy to hear from @philae2014! Here's what we know so far about his status:

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