Hope for the Rosetta comet-landing mission: Philae wakes up and sends signal to earth, European Space Agency says

Sarah Spickernell
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The Philae made contact in November last year (Source: Getty)

The Philae probe that landed on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in November has finally woken up from hibernation.

According to the European Space Agency, which launched the Rosetta space mission to land on a comet in 2004, the probe radioed the agency this weekend for the first time in seven months.

Read more: Rosetta takes a selfie in space with its new comet friend

The researchers were unsure of when they would next hear from it– after making initial contact in November, it worked for just 60 hours before the solar-powered battery ran flat
But now that the comet has moved closer to the sun, it has power to function once more.

"Philae is doing very well: It has an operating temperature of -35ºC and has 24 Watts available," said Philae project manager Dr. Stephan Ulamec in a statement. "The lander is ready for operations."

The Philae is currently running on around 24 watts of power, which is enough to allow it to follow the comet as it hurtles towards the sun, examining the composition of the fragments emitted. By doing so, it is hoped that Rosetta will give us a better understanding of what the universe was like billions of years ago.

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