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Rosetta’s lander Philae woke up from hibernation

on 15 June 2015

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 23:28 Romania time on 13 June and 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", explained 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 2014.

When analysing the status data it became clear that Philae also must have been awake 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 2:15 Romania time 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.

Rosetta was launched on 2 March 2004 and travelled 6.4 billion kilometres through the Solar System before arriving at the comet on 6 August 2014, and on 12 November 2014 it has soft-landed its Philae probe on the comet's surface, which was the first time in history when such an extraordinary feat has been achieved.

Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab