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Science, Maths & Technology

Round-up: Philae recharged

Updated Monday 15th June 2015

As part of the consortium that brought Philae to life, we're delighted that it's sending messages once again. Here's a quick round-up of reactions from the last 24 hours or so...

Philae contacted Rosetta, and we were able to eavesdrop...

Down on Earth, everyone was thrilled...

... and not just comedians, either...

It wasn't only on Earth that people were delighted...

The European Space Agency issued an official bulletin, confirming the news...

Rosetta's lander Philae has woken up after seven months in hibernation on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The signals were received at ESA's European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt at 22:28 CEST on 13 June. More than 300 data packets have been analysed by the teams at the Lander Control Center at the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

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

For 85 seconds Philae "spoke" with its team on ground, via Rosetta, in the first contact since going into hibernation in November.

When analysing the status data it became clear that Philae also must have been awake earlier: "We have also received historical data – so far, however, the lander had not been able to contact us earlier."

Now the scientists are waiting for the next contact. There are still more than 8000 data packets in Philae’s mass memory which will give the DLR team information on what happened to the lander in the past few days on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Philae shut down on 15 November 2014 at 1:15 CET after being in operation on the comet for about 60 hours. Since 12 March 2015 the communication unit on orbiter Rosetta was turned on to listen out for the lander.

With great timing, Philae woke up just in time for an episode of The Sky At Night on BBC Four...

And because Philae is now up and about, the OU's Monica Grady had to get up early enough to appear on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4…

You can listen to the programme online - fast-forward to around two hours and twenty minutes in.

It was a good news story across the media…

Good morning, Philae…

It's exciting to hear from Philae - but the real excitement is around what the little craft might do next.

 

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