Jun 14 2015

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Philae is ALIVE!!

Philae is Alive! ESA Comet Lander Feared Dead Phones Home After 7 Months of Silence.

ESA announced that on June 13, signals from the intrepid lander were received at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt at 22:28 CEST. On social media, the reaction was a mix of disbelief and elation. Philae’s first tweets on its “return” read in part: “Hello Earth! Can you hear me?… Hello @ESA_Rosetta! I’m awake! How long have I been asleep?”

ESA added, “More than 300 data packets have been [analyzed] by the teams at the Lander Control Center at the German Aerospace Center (DLR).” ESA revealed that they await the next contact from the lander, and that 8,000 data packets in its mass memory will be analyzed. This will aid researchers in further discovering what life on a live comet is like.

It appears Philae, despite having been “asleep” on the craggy face of a comet for the better half of a year, is in good shape. DLR’s Philae project manager, Dr. Stephan Ulamec, confirmed this bit of news. “Philae is doing very well: It has an operating temperature of -35ºC and has 24 watts [of power] available. The lander is ready for operations.”

It was also revealed by ESA that Philae “spoke” to ground controllers for 85 seconds, its first communication since Nov. 2014, and data reveals that the lander has been awake for some time. Dr. Ulamec continued, “We have also received historical data – so far, however, the lander had not been able to contact us earlier.”

HOLY CRAP!! I’m dying to find out exactly where it landed. As the article says: “Stay tuned!”

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/06/14/philae-is-alive/

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