After a historic landing on the comet 67P last November, the European Space Agency’s Philae lander fell into silence and was classified as missing. That all changed this weekend, when, after seven months of silence, the lander “woke up” and tweeted “Hello Earth! Can you hear me? #WakeUpPhilae.”
Hello Earth! Can you hear me? #WakeUpPhilae
— Philae Lander (@Philae2014) June 14, 2015
According to the Philae project manager, the probe “is doing very well. The lander is ready for operations.” This comes as very good news for the ESA and supporters of the comet landing, who, much like Philae, have been in the dark for the past seven months about the pending success or failure of the mission.
Back in November, the probe had a bumpy landing after its anchoring gear did not deploy. The result was that it drifted over half a mile across the comet’s surface, endeing up in a shadowy crater where it did not get enough sunlight to stay charged. After only 57 hours on the comet, Philae went into hibernation. This animated GIF is exactly what did not happen:
Stay tuned to find out about the exciting discoveries coming from this historic mission.
It’s alive! See what this historic probe’s first tweet said after 7 month asleep and lost in space!